Tumut Diesel Carriage Destroyed by Fire
14 November 1950 The Tumut and Adelong Times
The power carriage of the two car new diesel train which has been running between Tumut and Cootamundra was destroyed by fire when the train was travelling to Tumut on Friday evening last.
The fire occurred about 6 p.m. when the train was near Gadara siding.
Fortunately the twelve passengers and train crew got out safely and the front carriage was saved. Damage, however, is estimated at £40,000.
The fire was first noticed when the train was in motion near Gadara by the three passengers in the rear carriage who smelt fumes coming from below the floor and the guard was immediately summoned.
The train was immediately stopped and the passengers alighted.
However, by this time the fire, which appeared to have started under the carriage near one of the motors, had such, a hold on that nothing could be done to save the car.
The fire extinguishers could not be freed from the end of the train and despite strenuous efforts by the train crew the two carriages could not be uncoupled.
With the assistance of the passengers a ditch was dug with the one - shovel available alongside the train in order to dam a quantity of water which was flowing nearby and the water was thrown onto the burning carriage with the aid of buckets provided by Mr. Bob Downing, who resided in the vicinity.
The Messrs. Butler Bros, also drove to their, property to secure a pinch bar in an endeavour to free the two carriages but this proved unsuccessful. However, the passengers and crew and others were able to prevent the flames from spreading to the front carriage.
Among the twelve passengers on board the train were Mr. and Mrs. Neil Masters, Mr. Dick Sturt, Messrs. Jack and Keith Jamieson and Mrs. Reg Malone and daughter. There were also several tourists en route to Yarrangobilly Caves.
The heat was no intense that the greater part of 'the aluminium and metal of which the car was constructed was completely melted and was just a tangled mass.
The whole of the roof collapsed and most of the side walls were destroyed as were the whole of the fittings, seating, flooring and internal components of of the carriage. Only outlines of the seats could be seen on the floor.
The fire finally burnt itself out. Fortunately all luggage and newspaper aboard the train were saved.
The passengers were conveyed to Tumut by car and the train was later pulled into Tumut where it is how awaiting inspection by Railway Departmental investigation officers. It is not known what caused the fire and an official inquiry into the matter will be held in the near future.