Southern Aurora MemorialPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Sandra Brown

The plaque commemorates the eight victims, and the passengers injured, on the Southern Aurora train which collided with a goods train in 1969. The goods train driver also died in the collision. It also recognises the assistance by volunteers at the scene of the tragedy. The plaque was unveiled on the 25th anniversary of the crash. 

On February 7, 1969, nine people died and more than 100 were injured when the Sydney to Melbourne overnight train, the Southern Aurora, crashed head-on into a Sydney-bound goods train near Violet Town.  About 10 kilometres prior to the crossing loop, where the two trains were set to pass one another, the driver of the passenger train, suffered a heart attack and died.

The train, carrying crew and more than 190 passengers, subsequently passed a red signal at 110 kilometres an hour, and collided head on with the goods train. The Southern Aurora bore the brunt of the impact with several carriages flung into the air and another six derailed.




Address:Mcdiarmids Road , Level Rail Crossing, Violet Town, 3669
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -36.642241
Long: 145.706868
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Disaster
Sub-Theme:Land Transport
Actual Event Start Date:07-February-1969
Actual Event End Date:07-February-1969


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Monday 7th February, 1994
Front Inscription

Dedicated To The Eight People
Who Lost Their Lives
And The One Hundred And Seventeen People
Injured When The Southern  Aurora Collided
With A Goods Train On 7 February 1969 At 7.05 AM.

This Plaque Also Recognises
The Assistance Given At The Accident Scene By
The Dedicated Volunteers From 
   Violet Town And District
            Unveiled by 
         Mr Ian Dobbs 
Chief Executive, Public Transport Corporation 
       on 7 February 1994


Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au