The Clandulla Train Wreck

The Wreck of the Lithgow-Mudgee mail train at Clandulla.

Lew and Louie Blackmore purchased “Chester” at Clandulla in 1952 and moved there from “Rosedale” Kandos (near Charbon Cement Works) where they had been living since 1945.

Lew’s parents, Jack and Edith Blackmore had previously, in 1929, purchased the adjoining property “Mt View” and had moved there from “Landsdowne”, near Cowra, to get away from cropping and run fine wool Merino sheep.

As the only shearing shed was on “Mt View”, gates were put on either side of the railway line to allow sheep to cross for shearing. A good lookout was always posted either side of the crossing.

“Chester” to the west if the railway line and “Mt View” to the east. The Shearing Shed was adjacent to the dam in the south east of the image and the railway crossing approximately at the centre point of the three dams shown and to the south if the divergence of the railway line and Brogans Creek Road.

“Chester” was sold around 1968 and “Mt View” in 1972. The the new owner of “Chester”, was, firstly, a Mr. Gordon, who had moved there from around Orange. He later sold the property to Peter Martin. Both the new owners must have continued to use the railway crossing.

Wreck of the Lithgow-Mudgee train motor rail at Clandulla after collision with bulldozer which killed Mr. Peter Martin, 55, a local farmer. May 25, 1981. (Photo by Macey; John Nobley/Fairfax Media via Getty Images).

Around 1981, a Clandulla local, Wayne Morton, was crossing the line on a bulldozer when the rippers became stuck on the tracks. The owner of “Chester”, Peter Martin, was with him and, as the crossing was near a bend in the line and cutting, they may not have seen or heard the approaching, diesel rail motor in time, and the rail motor driver was also unable to see them, until too late to stop.

Wayne Morton jumped off the dozer and Peter Martin had jumped back up to try and get it off the tracks when the train hit the bulldozer, killing Peter Martin.

Wreckage of the Lithgow-Mudgee motor rail at Clandulla after the collision with a bulldozer which killed Mr. Peter Martin, 55, a local farmer. May 25, 1981. (Photo by Macey; John Nobley/Fairfax Media via Getty Images). Note Mount Vincent (Bradleys Head) is in the background.

The photos note that Mr. Peter Martin, 55, was killed and five passengers and the rail motor driver were injured.

Wreck of Lithgow-Mudgee train at Clandulla. It hit a bulldozer killing farmer Mr. Peter Martin, 55, five passengers & driver were injured. May 25, 1981. (Photo by Macey; John Nobley/Fairfax Media via Getty Images).

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