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Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Tragic death in 1967

Parents and residents in this area are rightly concerned with keeping children out of the way of moving trains, however, some may be unaware of the history of the tragic death of a school boy at Marion station in 1967.

Licence: CC - by Paul Gardner-Stephen

Long-term residents of this area were horrified and some - including one elected to council at the time - still recall the details of this event. For the benefit of parents and rail planners considering child safety we have reproduced an image of the layout of the station as it was at the time of the accident in 1967.

As you can see the layout of the southern end of the station was quite different. Residents recall that this death took place at an obviously dangerous level crossing located at the southern end of the platform near Westminster School. 

There was a maze crossing located at the northern end of the station, however, the collision did not occur at that crossing. A maze crossing forces pedestrians to look for on-coming trains before deciding to cross. Many people, even at that time, believed that the death occurred there - however this is untrue. 

At the time of the accident there was no impediment of any kind to stop the boy from mounting his bike on the platform, riding down the platform at speed and swooping across the tracks without first looking for trains. The access to the tracks and the station was completely open, so much so that had the bollard been removed you could have driven a car across the tracks and up onto the station platform.

The current overpass was built after the boy’s death  in 1970 at a cost of $35,000.

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