AUSTRALIAN RAILWAY STORY

Railway Voices CD: 13. POST WAR EXPANSION

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Song: The Woy Woy Workers Train by Joe Fernside (1952)

Roger Ilott vocals, guitar, banjo. Penny Davies whistle.
Have you ever travelled to Sydney on the Woy Woy Workers Train,
It rattles along the railway, it rattles through your brain,
It fills your clothes with smoke and soot, filthy dirt and grime,
You never travel in comfort and you never get there on time.
They say we own the railways, there's breakdowns here and there,
If the people own the railways, I'll give away my share.
You never travel in comfort, you often get there late,
You want to change the system, 'cause the whole things out of date.

Ken Stokoe fitter, Elcar, Chullora

We had campaigns to resurrect the railways, because frankly they went into shocking neglect through the war. There they were, run off their legs, and no maintenance, and then after the war, it fell apart under us, we had what we called rust bucket campaigns, we had a situation for a long time where these carriages, and you know they carry nearly, well not nearly all, but a big proportion of Sydney to work. They were being repaired with brown paper. Patching the holes in the side, rust holes and that sort of thing, were covered with brown paper, it was glued on and then paint sprayed over and away they'd go.

Ron Preston Works Manager, Cardiff Workshops

We needed an injection of new motive power. This is where the Garrets and the 59s came along as the first attempt to get the ... some new blood into the system, and of course the 38 class, which had been built from about 1943 onwards, were to improve the passenger fleet.

Stan Jones

In the post-war period, the workshops became an avenue of employment for migrant labour. And for the first time we were confronted with different languages being spoken in the workshops and with people who had different views brought from overseas.

Railway Voices a CD of Australian railway workers stories with songs and poems