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41 Years On, Was The Granville Train Disaster 'Covered Up'

On January 18, 1977 the train derailment that became forever known as the Granville train disaster occurred.

As well as the horrific loss of 83 lives, another 200 were seriously injured when electric locomotive No. 4620 crashed, but were we told the real reason for the tragedy?

In his book 'Revisiting the Granville Train Disaster of 1977 Barry Gobbe claims that rail workers spotted a fault in one of the wheels six months before the crash.

Gobbe believes government bosses "harassed" the coroner responsible for investigating the crash to stay silent about the wheel - and fatally – rail maintenance workers didn't have spare sets to replace the worn-down leading wheel.

"By the time it ran off the track they'd let it run for another 50,000km," Gobbe said.

Travelling at a speed of 78km/h, and towing eight packed carriages on its morning commute from the Blue Mountains towards Sydney, the locomotive derailed at 8.10am near Granville.

The locomotive with the defective wheel ploughed straight into one of the support trestles of the Bold Street bridge, bringing down hundreds of tonnes of concrete on top of two carriages.

A government inquiry claimed the cause of the crash was the poor fastening of the track on the bend due to inadequate maintenance.

The report stated that this caused the tracks to spread and resulted in the left front wheel leaving the rail, triggering the catastrophic derailment.

Gobbe, who was the first ambulance officer on the scene claims "there was a lot of corruption and collusion going on" behind the scenes.

Coroner Tom Weir was appointed by the NSW government investigate the tragedy, however Gobbe claims Weir was being bullied by Chief Stipendiary Magistrate Murray Farquhar.

"I have a hand written letter from [Tom Weir] that says how he was being harassed by Murray Farquhar," he said.

"He released as much [information] as he possibly could without losing his job but in the end he did lose his job. They demoted him, put him in a back room but they kept his wages the same so he wouldn't say anything."

In 1985, Farquhar was jailed for four-and-a-half years for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice in a 1977 court hearing involving then Australian Rugby League boss Kevin Humphreys.

"I believe [Farquhar] also perverted the course of justice in the Granville train disaster," Gobbe said.

Gobbe claims Weir's son Jamie has told him that his father on his deathbed, "was still very upset with the way he was treated by his bosses".

"If the truth was fully known it possibly would have bankrupted them (the NSW Government)" said Gobbe.

"One particular family didn't even get enough money to even put a headstone on their grave," he claims.

"No one has ever disagreed with my findings," he said.

"We've now got the truth out there, what we believe did cause [the crash], not what the government led us to believe."

9News

Revisiting the Granville Train Disaster of 1977 was authored by Barry Gobbe and published in 2015.

Granville Train Disaster Association

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