Granville Train Disaster Memorial

Brenden Wood
3 min readJan 18, 2024

Victims’ families, surviving passengers and heroic emergency service workers attended the 47th Granville Train Disaster Memorial today.

At 8:10am on Tuesday 18th January 1977 a crowded Blue Mountains commuter train derailed at Granville in Sydney’s west, ploughing into the support beams of the Bolt Street bridge which then collapsed onto two of the train’s passenger carriages, killing 84 people in the worst railway disaster in Australian history.

Surviving passenger Phil Pitkin being led to the Granville Train Disaster Memorial wall

The train had departed from Mount Victoria in the Blue Mountains at 6:09am, and had at least 469 passengers on board by the time it left its final pick up point at Parramatta in the city’s west.

Preparing to throw roses from the Bolt Street bridge during the 47th Granville Rail Disaster memorial event

At the annual memorial service, which was supported by the Cumberland Council, attendees heard from survivors, emergency service workers, former NSW police commissioner Ken Moroney AO APM MA, Parliamentary Secretary for Transport Dr Marjorie O’Neill MP, Transport for NSW Coordinator-General Howard Collins OBE retired and local political representatives.

Granville Train Disaster Association patron and former NSW police commissioner Ken Moroney AO APM MA

After the bell was rung 84 times for each of the people who lost their lives wreaths were laid at the foot of the Granville Train Disaster Memorial wall.

The service concluded after roses were scattered onto the railway tracks not far from the Granville railway station.

The memorial event was hosted by the Granville Train Disaster Association, led by former NSW Ambulance employee and master of ceremonies Barry Gobbe OAM and former NSW Police Rescue employee Gary Raymond APM, OAM.

Surviving passenger Phil Pitkin, former police rescue worker Gary Raymond and NSW Ambulance Service first responder Barry Gobbe at the Granville Town Hall

Gary Raymond recorded a podcast interview after the 2024 Granville Train Disaster Memorial service. Listen to the podcast here.

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