The Lithgow Plot

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The Lithgow Plot was an assassination attempt of Queen Elizabeth II on 29 April 1970 at Lithgow, New South Wales, while she was undertaking a royal tour of Australia. The Queen and her husband were on a train trip from Sydney to Orange.

The plan[edit]

The would-be assassins rolled a large wooden log onto the tracks when it was dark and wedged it into place. It was meant to de-rail the train and, if it did, it would have smashed into an embankment. It failed because, at the time, the train was travelling unusually slowly when it struck the blockage, though it still slid for 700 metres before coming to a stop.

A train had been through an hour before the Queen's train to check the line but at that time it was clear. It seems as if the people behind the attack knew the schedule of Her Majesty.


The royal couple were kept unaware of the attempt because the government of Australia told the local police to keep quiet about the incident. This hampered the investigation attempt because people interviewed either couldn't or wouldn't speak about what had taken place.

In January 2009, retired Detective Superintendent Cliff McHardy told the Lithgow Mercury and The Daily Mail about the attempt. Buckingham Palace declined comment on the issue but has said that diary of the trip has shown no record of the train hitting a log.

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