Bob the Railway Dog

It is September 1884, and a train creeps into Carrieton Station, South Australia. Among the cargo of homeless dogs bound to serve as rabbit hunters in outback South Australia is a pup that captures Guard Ferry’s eye. The guard keeps the pup and calls him Bob, and Bob travels regularly with his master, and then by himself, on trains from Oodnadatta to Kalangadoo, from Adelaide to Melbourne, New South Wales, even Queensland, making friends with all he meets.

Bob the Railway Dog is a celebration of the early days of the railway, when shiny new tracks opened up vast areas of Australia.

Bob the Railway Dog


“Bob is a loyal dog, but his faithfulness is more to the trains that travelled throughout southern Australia in the 1880s than to one person…Folklore has him attending many historic occasions and his photograph is still displayed at the Adelaide rail museum. Bob’s adventurous ways are perfectly captured in words and pictures in this charming book for ages 3 and up.”

Alexa Dretzke is a Children’s & YA Book Specialist at Readings Hawthorn. Link to Review.


Highly recommended.

‘This picture book takes the reader into the reasons for the railways to exist in the outback regions of South Australia, and throughout the story the impact of the railways on small communities is neatly observed, while readers will have an overview of the size of Australia and the distances travelled by the dog… Text and illustration create a beautiful picture book evocative of times past, but extolling the virtues of independence and loyalty.’
— Fran Knight, Readplus


Bob the Railway Dog is not merely a story of an adventurous pet, but also an account of the early years of the rail network in Australia. The story captures the sense of connection between the workers at the various stations and destinations, despite the vast distances between them, and the excitement of the changes brought about by the railway system… Corinne Fenton’s text evokes both an interest in the history of the railway network and an emotional response to the lovable character of Bob.

Bob the Railway Dog shares a heart-warming story from Australia’s history with young readers, adding an element of adventure and excitement to the development of the rail network through the outback.”

— Kid’s Book Review


“With lyrical prose that shines and illuminates Corinne Fenton’s love of social history, we view the real life story of Bob from his arrival at Carrieton Station…

Bob is a restless spirit, a lover of trains, and a traveller… This story is about Bob, but also is an historical portrayal of the birth and expansion of the railway in outback Australia. The outstanding illustrations by Andrew McLean of Bob and the railway’s history are created with watercolour and charcoal and black coloured pencil. This stunning book is suitable for the 5 -105 age group. It comes highly recommended.

— Anastasia Gonis, Buzz Words


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