Eighty-three roses have been laid to remember each of the people killed in Australia’s worst train disaster, as 40th anniversary commemorations of the accident begin today in Sydney.
Survivors, first responders and relatives of victims of the Granville train disaster gathered in the western Sydney suburb to hear the names of the 83 victims read out as chimes sounded at 8:10am, the time the train crashed in 1977.
Sandra Lucre was among those commemorating the anniversary.
She was 23 when she boarded the train at Penrith — she was in the first carriage and received minor injuries.
“The engine derailed and dragged the first carriage with it,” she recounted.
“It was horrific … I was one of the lucky ones I walked away.
“I’ve been very grateful for my life — I was pregnant at the time with my eldest son but I didn’t know, he’ll be 40 in October, and that got me through, but I’ve had nightmares on and off and I still do.”
Ms Lucre left home at 4:00am to come from her home in Sanctuary Point near Jervis Bay to make it to Granville for the commemorations.
She said she was “trying to keep it together” during the service.
“I keep thinking back to that day and I can still see what I was wearing, I can still remember the sounds, I did not hear that bridge come down even though it was so close,” Ms Lucre Said.
“The memories are very vivid, I think even if I got Alzheimer’s I would still remember how it felt to have the windows of your carriage shatter to have the roof lift and the side go.
“It it’s not an experience I’d like anyone to live through at all and I feel so sorry for the ones that lost people, it was very sad.”
There will be a church service at St Marks Anglican Church at 10:00am and another full service back at the memorial wall at 11:30am.