Slow Gundagai-Tumut Train

The Tumut Advocate and Farmers & Settlers' Adviser

23 August 1910

The defunct Mark Twain, on the occasion of a journey in the States, enquired of the conductor of the train what was the object of placing the cowcatcher in front of the engine.

Upon the intended purpose of the cow-arrester being explained to Mark, he observed that the cow catcher would perform more useful work if it were stationed at the rear instead of the front of the train, as, according to his idea of train's rate of progress, there was a better chance of a cow overtaking the Juggernaut than for a straying member of the genus bovine to be overtaken by the engine.

Now, this little piece of satire was spoken of a country which is popularly supposed to lead the world in rail way speeds.

What, we would like to ask, would the jovial, observant Mark be tempted to remark in regard to the Gundagai-Tumut service if he were in the flesh today?

In these busy days of keen commercial rivalry, when time is money to everybody, it is farcical - aye, it is painfully cruel - that the progressive town of Tumut should have to be content with a slower train service than is given the dwellers in the dreary, unpromising Never Never.

To think of it, that a man in a buggy or a boy on a bike, can cover the distance between Gundagai and Tumut in less time than the train occupies! Need we more than observe that whatwas good enough for the people when the line was built seven years ago is not good enough for them now that the district industries have found their feet.

If the mails were carried from Gundagai to Tumut by motor-car the people of Tumut could open, their post at 10.30 a.m. instead of 12.30 as now, and they would have four or five hours in which to answer their mail before the car returned.

At present a day is lost in answering the mail. It is up to the Council or the member to advocate an accelerated mail service.