Those Railway Gates

A humorous story about the rail gates from the Windsor & Richmond Gazette 19 April 1928.

The refusal of the Railway Commissioners to confer with the request of Blacktown Council and establish public gates and constitute a crossing between Schofields and Riverstone brings to mind an old story concerning the Riverstone gates which, as the principal concerned has long since passed beyond mortal compliment or blame may be told (says “Cumberland Argus”). A relieving stationmaster was in charge at Riverstone, and had been spending an evening with friends, perhaps less wisely than well, and on his return to his lodgings, he forgot to close the gates. Early in the morning he was awakened by a tremendous banging on his door. Some cattle had got on to the line with the result that the early morning goods train was derailed, and it was necessary to call out all hands to get it on again.

Later in the day the stationmaster was interviewed in his office by the dairyman of foreign nationality: “Vat about mine cow that your train ki lled?” “Oh”, replied the stationmaster, “so you’re the owner of that cow. Well I’m glad you’ve called, it will save us no end of trouble. You know that your cow had no right to be on the line. It was trespassing, and as a result one of our engines has been thrown off the line, and we’ve had to bring out a lot of men to get it back on again.” He then went into a long calculation of the time occupied and amount of wages involved at overtime rates, and then announced to the foreigner, “I think that if you pay us about 5 that will about square it.”

“It was not mine cow at all.” Was the cry of the foreigner as he quickly took his departure from the station, lest a larger claim might be made upon him.