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The Springwood Crash

Iron Road


by Frank Brown in The Retired Rail & Tramwaymen 1933


The train steamed out of Lithgow,
With its good and trusty crew;
The driver, perhaps you know him,
Engine Eleven-Twenty-two.

They ran O.K. to Wentworth Falls
With the usual care and tact,
But when approaching Lawson r
The brakes refused to act.

Now how this really happened
None of us can say;
We only know one thing,
That the train just ran away.

Through Hazelbrook and Woodford
They went on their mad career;
They thought of their wives and children,
And their hearts were filled with fear.

The roar as they passed Linden
Was enough to waken the dead;
The whistle blowing loudly,
Giving warning on ahead.

Down past old Weemalah.
She was gone beyond control;
Imagine how she hit that curve
Down near the water-hole.

And their engine fell to pieces
As along the road she flew;
She lost her springs and slide bars,
And the pistons broke in two.

No one can imagine
The awful nervous strain
Or the agonising thoughts
Of the men who worked this train.

Even the prisoner in his cell,
Awaiting the hangman’s rope,
Right to the last sad moment
Has one little ray of hope.

But these three men were flying
Solely in God’s Power,
To what they thought was certain death,
At eighty miles an hour.

That slight up-grade at Faulconbridge,
They passed it like a flash;
They left the road at Springwood.
Then came an awful crash.

A thousand tons of loaded trucks,
Cement flying just like snow;
And how these men escaped from death,
Well. God alone must know.

But there’s nothing so bad that it couldn’t be worse,
Is a saying old and true;
Had they only gone another mile
They would have crashed into 32.

We give praise to those heroes
Who repelled our enemy hosts.
But I lift my hat to these three men,
Who stuck so gamely to their posts.