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12 Jan 2012

 

Haunted, 35 years after train disaster

12 Jan, 2012 01:00 AM
PARRAMATTA resident Beverley Roberts remembers the small details from the day of the Granville rail disaster.

Where she was sitting, the faces in front of her and the flash of red hair of her rescuer, whose name she still doesn't know.

Ms Roberts was 26 years old and on her way to work at a charted accountancy firm when the train derailed, hitting the Bold Street bridge which collapsed on the packed commuter train.

She will attend the 35th anniversary of the tragedy on Wednesday and watch as roses are thrown onto the tracks to commemorate the 83 people who died.

"You never forget it and on the day of the anniversary, well, that's not a good day," Ms Roberts said.

Granville Memoriam Foundation secretary Barry Globe, the first paramedic on the site of the crash, has spent the past year reliving the day with rescuers, relatives and survivors.

He has compiled a book that tells their stories to commemorate the 35th anniversary.

"It's their words and their voices. I met a lot of people and I found that some of them have gone on in life but many are still suffering and still can't talk about the day," Mr Globe said.

"I really don't have a lot of recollection of what took place. We just go on and did our job. Many of the people on that train have since died. This will probably be the last big memorial service for some of the people who were involved."

The list of names will be read out and a bell will chime at the Memorial Wall in Granville at 8.11am, the time the disaster occurred.

A church service will be held at Saint Mark's Anglican Church and there will be a wreath-laying ceremony followed by the display of roses on the railway lines under the Bold Street overhead bridge.

For Ms Roberts, stepping on to trains is still riddled with her memories and feelings from the crash.

She still does meditation and for a long time after the crash she stared into pictures when travelling on trains to keep calm.

 Anniversary: Granville train disaster survivor Parramatta resident Beverley Roberts and one of the first paramedics on the scene, Barry Gobbe. Picture: Gene Ramirez
Anniversary: Granville train disaster survivor Parramatta resident Beverley Roberts and one of the first paramedics on the scene, Barry Gobbe. Picture: Gene Ramirez



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