Camp Mountain Train Disaster

Did you know?

One of the worst train disasters in Queensland's history occurred near Camp Mountain on Monday 5 May 1947.

The train involved in this accident was a picnic train organised by the Customs and Excise department's social club which left Brisbane with nearly 500 women and children at 8.55 am.

The trip turned to disaster at 9.55 am when the leading carriage jumped the rail in a cutting a few miles on the Brisbane side of Closeburn, where the picnic was to have been held. This unfortunate accident claimed fifteen lives and injured thirty and was Queensland's worst rail disaster to that point.

Camp Mountain railway accident, 1947. Image No: 102670

Derailed carriages, Camp Mountain.  Image No: 102648

Rescuing the injured.  Image No: 102649

The John Oxley Library has recently digitised images of this accident and these can be viewed in Picture Queensland via One Search.


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My mother was born in 1923 in Brisbane and died in 1996 in Brisbane. We always remembered her telling us that she had gone on a picnic when she was young and the train had a terrible accident. Her friends and her were going to get in the first passenger car when my mother had a feeling that they should go to the last train car. She told us that it was very horrible with loss of life and many injured. She said she helped carry injured people over fences and that is when she had a desire to become a nurse. She never gave any other particulars or even the name of the place where it happened. Her name at that time was Bernice Trost. Do you have any kinds of records that told of the passengers that were not injured etc. I suppose people would buy tickets and no names were known, but in case they were known, is there anywhere I can find more about this? This accident was talked about today and so I decided to look online to see if I could even find anything about any train accidents in Queensland during the 30s or 40s. She would have been about 23 at the time and turned 24 on May 7th that year. A year and a half later she married my dad.

Hi AnnThere is an inquest file on the Camp Mountain train accident held at the Queensland State Archives in Runcorn.You can contact them via or by phone on 3131 7777. They are located at 435 Compton Rd. RegardsSimon Farley - John Oxley Library

I was a passenger on the train and have a photographic picture of the accident in my mind. I was three years old at the time. My grandmother was taking us on the May Day picnic.The photos that on this web page are exactly as I remember the accident. I can still hear the steam whistle continuously to release the steam out of the engine