Flashback Friday | Unique circumstances blamed for 1985 Como rail bridge accident

A unique set of circumstances was blamed for a near-disaster on the Como rail bridge in 1985,

The last carriage of a north-bound train carrying about 100 passengers left the rails 100 metres on the Sutherland side of the bridge on the afternoon of Tuesday, January 29.

The train continued onto the bridge before stopping, with the derailed carriage coming to rest against a steel guard rail.

Two passengers were injured, but the train drivers’ union chief Bernie Willingale and and State Opposition spokesman on transport, Terry Metherell, said it could have been a disaster.

A preliminary report investigators provided to Transport Minister Barrie Unsworth reportedly blamed the derailment on three factors.

They were a destabilised track after recent maintenance work, extremely hot weather and a slipping of the anchors which helped hold railways sleepers in place.

This had caused “comprehensive stress” on the tack, causing it to buckle.

The findings of the final official report are not known.


Every Friday we delve into the Leader archives to embark on some time travel.

We will bring you photographs of a news event from 57 years of Leader news coverage that you may or may not recall.

Flashback Friday submissions are also welcomed.

Feel free to share your recollections with us on our Facebook page @SutherlandShireStGeorgeNews or email leaderletters@fairfaxmedia.com.au


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