Australian Railway Songs - Research Blog

A Continuing Project: the culture associated with Australian Railways.


Further the collection and documentation of songs, poems and stories that reflect on the contribution railways have made (and continue to make) to the social history of Australia and encourage their on going contribution to Australian popular culture. Click on Australian Railway Story for the latest update.

Search using key words or short phrases enclosed in quotes (eg "frank the poet")

TRAINS OF TREASURE: Exhibition Created in 1985

Background to Exhibition

The background to the Australian Railway Project can be found in the "Trains of Treasure Exhibition" of 26 panels created in 1985 and update to 30 panels in 2005 during the 150th Anniversary of Railways in Australia This exhibition concentrates on the lives and culture of railway workers and the part they played in the ongoing history of the railways in Australia.

convict power in tasmania

Each panel is built around a poem, song or subject significant in the history of Australian Rail from 1813 to 1985 when the exhibition was brought together.The exhibition grew out of a special viewing of Australian railway songs and poems based on research by Brian Dunnett and Denis Kevans. Click on Loco for information about the Sidetrack Theatre play. Listen to an interview with Harry Robinson - musician in resident.Click on Gallery to see the panels and Artists to see a listing of those who worked on the project.

Two CDs: "Trains of Treasure" and "Railway Voices"

An important part of the original exhibition in 1985 were two cassette tapes. These have now been updated, remastered and released as CDs. As well as songs and poems from Australian railway history, there are the voices of railway workers talking about their experiences. These sound tracks also provided sound for the Australian National Museum touring railway exhibition "All Aboard" in 2005. Click on Songs or Railway Voices to read the songs and poems as well as the transcripts from these two unique CDs. You can listen to this material on line. Both CDs come with full documentation and are available for purchase here.