Railway news over the years
By its very nature, railways from around the world create newsworthy stories and photos – some ofit romantic, some tragic, and some just plain mundane.
I will attempt to add news items about Katanning and the Great Southern Railway on this page as I find it – so please come back and check it regularly.
Great Southern Herald: Saturday 5 July, 1913
COMMISSIONER REPLIES TO CRITIC.
The Railway Department recently dismissed from its employ a young night officer named Olson who had been stationed at Katanning. The reason for this step was that the department found that Olson’s neglect in the matter of fixing down the brakes on a rake of trucks in the Katanning stafion yard was responsible for these trucks moving of their own accord out of the yard and down the line, where they collided with a goods train coming from Albany.
A letter appeared in these columns on Thursday on the matter, in which the following passage appeared:-“I would like to draw attention to the adverse circumstances under which the night stationmaster at Katanning is called upon to work. The yard is composed of one mass of compound points. There are 15 different roads. This is the busiest shunting yard on the G.S R.,yet right through the harvest a night stationmaster is the only man on duty from
12 a.m. to 5.30 a.m. On the night of the collision the official had five wheat specials to contend with singlehanded, besides the ordinary trains.”
The Commissioner of Railways (Mr. J.T. Short) when spoken to on the matter by a “West Australian” reporter yesterday, said that as a matter of fact the general conditions in the Katanning yard and station were similar to those existing in other stations of the kind on the railway system. As to the “mass of compound points”there was no more complication at Katanning than anywhere else. Katanning had one of the most up-to-date yards, except that it was not interlocked. Great improvements only recently had been carried outat Katanning, Wagin, and Narrogin stations.
He pointed out that while five trains may have passed through the Katanning station on the night of the mishap, it had to be remembered that there was practically one train only at a time in the station. The up special goods train had arrived at 1.35 a.m. and had left, at 4 a.m., and the down special goods train had arrived at 4 a.m. in time to permit the up special leaving, etc. The Commissioner reiterated that the condition of things in the Katanning yard were by no means as suggested in the letter referred to.