We're deeply sorry for Granville: NSW govt

Stefanie Menezes
We're deeply sorry for Granville: NSW govt

Forty years after Australia's worst rail disaster, the NSW government has said sorry to all those affected by the tragedy.

"I express my genuine heartfelt sorrow for the terrible trauma you suffered at the time and the devastating pain and loss that you've had to live with for many years since," Premier Gladys Berejiklian told a packed gallery of survivors and victims' relatives in NSW parliament on Thursday.

"There is nothing we can do to take the pain away, but we hope today goes to acknowledging that and supporting you into the future."

Eighty-three people were killed and another 213 injured when a NSW commuter train derailed and struck the Bold Street bridge near Granville railway station on January 18, 1977.

The 170-tonne concrete bridge collapsed on the packed train, which was travelling to Sydney from Mount Victoria in the Blue Mountains, crushing the third and fourth carriages.

Investigations and inquiries into the crash revealed an alarming lack of investment in maintenance and ageing infrastructure.

At the time, the then-Wran government gave some assistance, but many received no compensation.

Ms Berejiklian acknowledged the apology had come 40 years too late.

"The life-long impact on survivors, the unimaginable grief felt by those who lost a loved one on that dreadful January day have never been formally acknowledged, and this is long overdue," Ms Berejiklian said.

"Hopefully we're making some amends to what you've experienced in the last four decades, not just that day, but the ensuing four decades."

About 50 survivors, emergency workers and relatives clapped quietly after the apology, with opposition leader Luke Foley, Transport Minister Andrew Constance and Granville MP Julia Finn also speaking during the address.

"We genuinely hope that this apology gives you some small measure of comfort," Mr Foley said.

"Granville will never just be a stop in the line."