The Railway Accident on the Zig-zag.
The following report concerning the late railway accident on the Great Zig zag was laid upon the table of the Assembly in answer to questions by Mr. Sohey :— New South Wales Government Railways, Sydney, 14th March, 1895.
The Secretary, In compliance with the Commissioners' directions, we have to report the result of our inquiry into the cause of the accident which occurred at top points, Lithgow Zig-zag, 12th instant. In this case, as the 7.45 Up Passenger, from Orange to Sydney, was being propelled, after passing top points signal cabin, a horse-box, followed by the engine and tender left the rails. The train consisted of — ... ... ... . T c q "P" class engine and tender, No. 461, weighing ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...91 0 0 Horse-box (containing one horse), No 562, weighing (about) ... ... ... 6 0 0 First-class lavatory carriage, No 406, weighing ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...21 11 3 Seoond-classs lavatory carriage, No. 366, weighing ... ... ... ... ... ... .. 20 1 0 Lavatory B van, No. 364, weighing 19 4 0
Total ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 156 16 3 We append hereto the evidence of the follow- ing witnesses : Driver G. Balmer ; Fireman W. Brownlow ; Guard D. Conroy; W. Price, officer in charge, top points ; Ganger E. Noon ; Fettler J. Dixon ; Fettler J. Stafford ; Sub-Inspector E. Farnsworth, Permanent Way Department ; Foreman McNevin, Loco. Department, Esk- bank ; Carriage and Wagon Examiner, A. Barner ; Mr. McCarney, Loco. Inspector, Bath- urst ; Mr. R. Crawford, Station-master, Esk- bank.
The driver states that the train left bottom points four minutes late, and that the speed as- cending the Zig-Zag was rather slower than usual. After passing the signal cabin at top points he felt the tender bumping, and immedi- ately stopped the train. His evidence is con- firmed by the fireman, the officer in charge, top points and guard also corroborates the driver's statement respecting the speed of the train coming up middle road. The ganger of the length says he was standing on the left-hand side of the train when it passed him, and that prior to its arrival he had been packing the sleepers. The carriage went all right, but as the horse-box (which was between the carriage and tender) passed him he saw it leave the rails followed by the tender. The two fettlers, who stood on the opposite side of the line, positively substantiate this statement. Permanent-way Sub Inspector Fansworth states, that he inspected this portion of the roads a week ago, and found it in good line and level. He travelled with this train, and immediately after the mishap gauged the road and found it
quarter of an inch slack, but not out of line, and rails crippled by the derailment. The wheels of the horse -box and tender were carefully gauged and examined by the carriage and wagon examiner and locomotive foreman and found to be correct. CONCLUSION. From the evidence taken and our personal inspection of the road and vehicles, we can come to no other conclusion than that the horse-box which was a very light vehicle compared with the others, forming part of the train, was forced off the rails whilst the train was being propelled, and that its derailment also led to the engine and tender leaving the rails. The derailment took place on 8-chain curve with a rising gradient of 1 in 42. As the damage to the permanent way, vehicles, and interlocking was small, it is esti- mated that the total coat of repairs will not ex- ceed £30. We attach a sketch showing the scene of the accident and position of the vehicles after the derailment. No passengers were injured. The horse, which was owned by Mrs. Brown, Bowenfels, was taken out of the box and stabled, and was subsequently removed by the owner. It was injured and shaken, its legs and head being cut and bruised. The only employee in any way injured was the fireman, who had his feet slightly bruised. H. RICHARDSON, JAMES FRASER, C. H. STANGER.