Historical information

This is a photograph of a railway camp, set up to house workers and their families when building the Bairnsdale to Orbost Railway from 1914-1916.
The man in the foreground was one of three men killed in an explosion "noon on the railway construction works at Hagen's Cutting, about two miles from Orbost, three men being killed. The victims were John Carroll, con- tractor, his son, Peter Carroll, and John Sullivan, a navvy. The gang had just finished work, and the three stayed behind to draw a blasting charge, which had missed fire yesterday. J. Carroll was using a pick, and it is presumed that the tool struck a percussion cap, and fired the charge.
He and Sullivan were killed instantly, Carroll being literally blown to pieces. Fragments of his body and garments were recovered from the surrounding bush, and the main portion of the trunk, with leg attached, was hurled a distance of 200 yards. Peter Carroll was terribly- injured, and he died before medical aid arrived." (from The Mercury Saturday March 114 1914)

The Bairnsdale-Orbost railway was opened in 1916 to serve the agricultural and timber industry. Because of the decline in traffic and heavy operating costs, the line was finally closed in August, 1987.
Orbost Railway Station was opened on Monday 10 April 1916 as the terminus of the Orbost railway line, and closed in 1987. The station was located on the west side of the Snowy River despite the town of Orbost being on the east side of the river, in order to save on the costs of a bridge over the river, which at the time had highly variable levels.


This item is associated with the history of the Orbost-Bairnsdale railway line and therefore reflects the role that the rail line played in the social and economic history of Orbost.

Physical description

A black / white photograph of a campsite. There is a kitchen outside a rough construction. Men and women are standing in the backgroundd with one man and a dog in the foreground.

Inscriptions & markings

on back - "Man with dog killed in explosion"