ANOTHER RAILWAY ACCIDENT.
TRAIN SERIOUSLY DELAYED. A DISASTER AVOIDED, WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN.
Still another railway accident has to be recorded. The latest mishap, which occurred to the 7.50 train from Armadale to Perth (which is always loaded with passengers), was fortunately
attended with no serious consequences, but a grave catastrophe might have occurred had it taken place a little further along the line, on the bridge over the Swan River. It is understood that shortly after leaving the Burswood, station, and while travelling at a good speed on the down grade, the steel rod coupling the wheels of the engine on one side suddenly broke. While crossing the small bridge over the Burswood Canal one of the pieces of the rod was torn off, but the other remained on the wheel, and, revolving rapidly, stirred up the ballast on the permanent way, enveloping the train in dust. The brakes were applied, and when the train was brought to a standstill near the racecourse the stout steel rod was found to be bent almost double. Had the accident occurred on the bridge a few hundred yards further along, where, instead of scattering loose metal, the broken rod would have encountered the bare jarrah sleepers, the train might have been derailed, with appalling results. The business people, with whom the train was crowded, were incensed at the delay which took place after the breakdown, before the train was towed into the city by another engine, for which a message was immediately sent to headquarters for assistance. A
number of passengers became disgusted at the lengthy delay which occurred before the arrival of the relief engine, and chose walking as a more speedy method of reaching their offices. At length a spare engine arrived at the scene of the mishap, but as more time was lost in disconnecting the unbroken rod on the other side of the damaged engine before a start could be made, the unfortunate passengers did not arrive at the Perth station until 11.15, or just two hours behind schedule time. Recently the same business train, the most important one on the daily time table — was marooned near Victoria Park, owing to the water supply running out. On that occasion, it is said, another engine had to be requisitioned, and the train ran into the city station nearly two hours behind time.