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Ghost Train



From 1920 to 1955 there used to be a railway line between Ferny Grove and Dayboro. It ran via Camp Mountain, Samford, west of present day Lake Samsonvale and north to a terminus at Dayboro.

This line was the scene of Queensland’s worst rail disaster in 1947, where 16 people were killed and 38 were injured. Even today it ranks as Australia’s second worst rail tragedy after Granville.

There’s not much of a trace of the old line left today except for a short rail-trail between Ferny Grove and Samford, and a Tunnel (affectionately called “The Bat Cave”) which is now used by Queensland University to research bats.

I’ve included the map here, and a link to the KML file here because I intend to visit some of the places on the map over the next few weeks to see if I can find any clues. Also, the map / kml might come in handy for anyone else interested in exploring the area.

I’ve included some scanned copies of old maps I used to plot the route of the line. Many thanks to local historian, Leith Barter, for helping me locate the old maps and providing copies.
1955 Military Map - Part 11955 Military Map - Part 21930s Cadastral Map

25 comments to Ghost Train

  • […] Mount Samson Railway    Ghost Train […]

  • […] Samson Railway As part of my project to explore the railway line west of lake Samsonvale, Harrison and I rode out to the small village of Mount Samson this […]

  • Arjun Valsaraj

    Hope you have a great time exploring the railway line Neil. Share some pictures of half submerged railway lines. I am sure people would find them interesting πŸ™‚

    • Hi Arjun πŸ™‚

      The actual railway lines were pulled up. All that’s left now is the flat ground. The problem is that this area is rarely accessed. So it has become overgrown. Around the lake we get a lot of Lantana which is a thick prickly noxious weed. I’ve found most of my expeditions around the lake inevitably end up in thickets of lantana.

      This picture (which I think you’ve seen) http://www.flickr.com/photos/magictyger/5088293577/ is the only one I managed to get which shows the trail slowly disappearing under the water.

      I’ll try harder next time and see if I can get a better photo for you.

      Neil

  • […] Mountain Railway As part of my project to explore the site of the old railway line between Ferny Grove and Dayboro I cycled out to Ferny Grove today. Today this is the terminus of the Queensland Railway’s […]

  • […] Bat Cave North of Samford, the railway line passes through Yugar. This is the only place on the line where a tunnel was necessary to pass under […]

  • Hey great site! As I child my family used to visit a Great Uncle’s property (Doug Petersen) on Peteresen Rd in Samford.

    I remember at the bottom of his property there used to be lots of old wooden railway sleepers lying around and a wooden cattle loading station for loading cows onto trains. By that time though (the 1980s) it was all quite run down and abandoned, with no railway line in sight. I remember visiting a few years later and much of it being covered in thorny weed (may have been lantana). He passed away many years ago, but had family also living very close by. I believe that at least part of the land may have been sold and divided now, and from the looks of things on recent Google street view, those remnants of a cattle loading station have been cleared up.

    Thanks for all this fascinating information and good work on the blog!

    I noticed that there’s a Peterson Park nearby and that made me remember something. The council erected a misspelt street sign that said PetersOn instead of PetersEn. After complaining, it was changed. The council may have made the same mistake with the park name.

  • G’day Mikk

    I think what was your Great Uncle’s property might now be on the Samford Railtrail. It’s a public-access recreational trail which follows the route of the old railway line into Samford. If you zoom in on the map on the post above, you should be able to see where it crossed Petersen Road.

    With regards to Peterson Park, have you tried talking to the local Councillor for the Samford area (Bob Millar). He might be able to shed some light on the spelling of the park name. If it is named after your family, who knows – you may even be able to get the name of the park changed πŸ™‚

    Neil

  • Brian

    Mikk

    I am the grandson of Mr Petersen, would love to catch up and share stories…. brian at samford . net

    The cattle yards you talk of were built by my father in the 1960’s for loading cattle onto a truck not for loading onto trains. The road still runs through from Mclean road Nth to Petersen road, we do ask anyone going through to please close the gates to stop cattle from escaping…

    Brian

  • […] Ghost Train Camp Mountain Railway Mount Samson Railway Samsonvale Railway Dayboro Railway The Bat Cave […]

  • Dianne Anderson

    Hi
    Last Sunday I was driving back from Samford. I heard the distinct sound of a train and whistle and thought there was something wrong with my car. My friend pointed over to the bush and said that is a Ghost Train and that is where the train crashed in 1947. The noise stopped when we passed that area. I have been going out to Samford for years and have never heard that sound before. Do you know anything about this and have other people heard this sound.
    Thanks
    Dianne

    • Kylie

      I know this thread is quite old but thought I would chime in anyway seeing as I can’t find anything else on the subject.

      Diane, I was coming back from Dayboro yesterday and heard the same distinct train sound along that stretch of road. At first I totally dismissed it as road noise until my partner pointed it out to me, he asked if i could hear the train sound as well. he says he’s heard a number of times coming through there and told me the same old story in regards to the crash at the site nearby.

      Just wondering if you ended up finding out more about it? I’m still unsure whether to believe him or not! Haha.

      Kylie

  • Brad

    The Samsonvale Station platform is STILL there. I read somewhere that it is gone. Nope, just hidden by weeds. It is right on the bank (when the dam is full). Not much to see, just on old platform on stilts, but nevertheless, still there.

    Also, whilst I was out exploring the area for remnants, I managed to find the old location where the tracks crossed the South Pine River. It wasn’t too hard to find, although it was hard to get down to the creek bank. Down there you will find that the original timber bridge piers have been cut off just above the water level and are in fairly good condition considering they’ve been there about 90 years.

    Also found a few other remnants of bridge piers in the North Pine River and in private farmland near the river. Again, nothing too interesting – just old stumps of wood, but again, they are still there.

  • Chris71

    Hi there
    Love your blog and everyone’s contribution!

    Most haunting as you walk along the track – want to do an investigation if anyone is interested!? (Paranormal investigation)

  • The dam is pretty low at the moment so might be a good time to revisit this track.

  • John

    I’ think I’ve traced the route from Ferny Grove to Dayboro but can’t work out the route around Kobble Creek. Anyone know?

    • John
      Have a look at this map:
      http://goo.gl/maps/1zDiz
      Don’t take my yellow line too literally – it’s inaccurate in spots.
      Specifically, check out the property boundaries either side of Mount Samson Road. You’ll see that they’re oddly shaped, and move in and out. Sections snake off for a few hundred metres at an angle to the road. This should give you a clue where the railway line ran.
      If you walk or cycle north from Kobble Creek along Mount Samson Road you can see a gravel track which follows the road on the left. I think this is the old line.
      Neil

  • John

    Thanks Neil. That old line has been a bit of an interest of mine for years now. I thought the grade away from the creek would be to steep so every time I passed over Kobble Creek I kept looking west as the Kobble Creek road looked a bit like an old embankment.
    Cheers
    John

  • Hi Neil
    I’ve been enjoying many of your posts, as I like hunting around for local history and the places that once were. I moved back into this area after about 30+ years away, so I’m looking forward to getting out and about more to see what I can find. The rail line is on my to do list, so when I do, I’ll have photos up on my blog. Thanks again for a very interesting and informative blog.
    Brad (Griff)

  • Andy

    Hi Neil,

    I think this is part of the old train line?

    • Hi Andy
      Keep a look out for this weeks post (out Wednesday afternoon) about this section of the railway. No, that is an old road bridge. The railway line was about 150m further west of this bridge. We actually walked across the bridge and got some great pics πŸ™‚

  • Dianne Crawford

    Hi Kylie. Next Monday 10am Samford Museum is a remberance day to acknowledge crash. 1st May 2017. They rang me and said other people have heard the sound of the crash. I am going to the museum as a 93yr woman survivor of the crash is talking. Come along and we can compare notes.
    Cheers Dianne

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