Railway MemorialPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Harry Frochter

Three locomotives commemorate the association of the railway and the coal mining industries, the major contributors to the local economy. The steam trains were used to transport coal out of Collie. 


Address:156 Throssell Street, Collie Visitor Centre, Collie, 6225
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.358889
Long: 116.149444
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Technology
Monument Theme:Technology


Front Inscription

Plaque :

F (s) Class Steam Locomotive

The F Class heavy freight locomotives were introduced in 1902 and later superheated to an Fs-Class.

The locomotive before you will be best remembered for its part in a fatal accident at Swan View in 1942.

Number 97 goods train left Perth for Northam at 9.15pm on 4th November 1942 with four crew on board.  The train, powered by F398 (F class) and L251 (L class) locomotives, made it`s way via Midland and soon commenced the demanding climb towards the Swan View Tunnel.  Inside the tunnel, the train struck a dislodged chaff bale which had fallen off the previous train resulting in the train being stalled.  The usual restart procedures were tried to no avial and within minutes the crew members were overcome with hot choking fumes from both engines of both locomotives.

One of the last acts of driver Thomas Beer was to put the train into reverse which resulted in the train gathering speed down the hill with an unconscious crew on board.  The train crashed into the granite boulders at the end of the dead end siding specifically built for runaway trains.  The cab of engine F398 took most of the impact and that was where Thomas Beer lost his life.

The remaining crew survived.  Engine F398 was rebuilt and superheated in December 1949 and renumbered Fs 452.  It saw out the end of steam on the Western Australian Government Railways, finally being written off in June 1971.

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