Towns in Australia

Exploring Australia, town by town

Bogantungan QLD


Postcode: 4702

Bogantungan is a small township situated in central Queensland, Australia. It lies approximately 350 kilometres west of the city of Rockhampton.

As the railway headed west from Rockhampton, a number of towns sprang up at the head of line. These towns were only intended to service the work of the crews laying the rails, but some have lasted over a century. Bogantungan was one of these. It became a town of some thousands of people, with around 30 hotels. After the line moved on, so did most of the town, to form the next settlement.

On January 2, 1960, Bogantungan became the site of Queensland’s worst train disaster. The Midlander passenger train, heading east to Rockhampton, passed over the flooded Medway Creek, just west of the town. The bridge collapsed when the train was partly over, with a number of carriages dropping into the water. A total of 4 passengers and 3 crew were killed, with 43 injured.

The railway bridge over Medway Creek at Bogantungan (100 km from Emerald) collapsed after an uprooted gum tree (estimated to weigh 12 tonnes) struck and pushed out one of the pylons as it was swept downstream by the floodwaters. The bridge then collapsed as the Rockhampton-bound Midlander passed over it, resulting in 7 dead and 43 injured. The leading engine made it across the bridge and derailed on the other side, however, the C class second engine, the power van, and 3 passeneger cars fell 7.6 meters into the Creek and were washed some way downstream. The four passenegers who died were in these cars, with the other fatalities being the three C class engines crewmen.