Here is an article about the accident transcribed from:
QUEENSLANDRAILWAYDISASTERS.htm Marrawing, Queensland.
15 December 1944
An engine driver died from a heart attack shortly after jumping
for his life from the cab of his locomotive when two trains collided
at Marrawing, 29 kilometers south of Gladstone, in this accident
during the Second World War.
The head-on collision, involving a goods train
and a ballast train, occurred at 6.20am on the crest of a hill,
8 kilometers on the Gladstone side of Marrawing.
The ballast train being hauled by a B18¼
class engine was travelling south with 19 wagons while the Beyer
Garrett hauled goods, with a load of 527 tonnes gross, was travelling
The two trains met with a combined impact velocity
of between 80 kmh and 100 kmh resulting in the Beyer Garrett being
driven halfway into the boiler of the B18¼, which was lifted
several feet off the rails. Moments before the impact, the crews
of both locomotives had leapt from their cabs.
Both engines were written off and the total cost
of the damage was estimated at £100,000.
The tender of the B18¼ telescoped into
the engine's cab with the following ballast trucks piling into
one another. The first wagon on the goods train- which wagon contained
furniture- was rammed halfway along the Beyer Garrett, the roof
of the van ending up on top of the locomotive's tender.
Other wagons at the front end of the goods train
were piled up against the weight of the ballast train, with several
wagons in the middle of the train derailing and rolling down an
The crew of the ballast train was Driver Daly,
Fireman King, and their guard Mr. A. Coulson. The crew of the
goods train were Driver Stonely, Fireman Gibbs, and their guard,
Mr. J. Tracey. All the men were from Gladstone.
When guard Tracey reached the scene of the collision,
he saw Stonely "staggering about," and went to his aid;
however, he then noticed Daly on the other side of the railway
line clearly having difficulty breathing. Daly was given a drink
of water, and Tracey turned his attention to assisting Gibbs out
of some debris from the crash.
Guard Coulson walked the 2.4 kilometers to Bernaby
for help, while Tracey went to Marrawing. A Gladstone doctor,
ambulance and police officer arrived shortly afterwards, but Daly
was dead when they reached the accident scene.
Breakdown gangs from Gladstone and Rockhampton
were sent to the crash site with their first task being to construct
a loop line around the accident by 10.00 am on 16 December.
The smash held up two divisions of the Townsville
Mail and the Rockhampton Mail passenger trains, which left Brisbane
on December 14, with all three trains being held at Bundaberg.
Both Townsville divisions had reached Rosedale when news of the
collision was heard. The Townsville trains were returned to Bundaberg
due to lack of accommodation for passengers at Rosedale.
The collision prevented the normal Rockhampton
Mail leaving form Brisbane on the night of December 15, but a
special train for Bundaberg left from Roma Street at 9.20 pm.
The Queensland Railway Commissioner, Mr. Wills,
announced on 18 December that a departmental inquiry into the
collision would be held. Expectant media representatives who turned
up for the inquiry the next day were disappointed when the chief
railways engineer, Mr. N. J. Amos, who was conducting the inquiry,
announced that the Press would not be admitted, nor would any
statement be made until the matter had been placed before Mr.