Skip to main content

The Signal Line

by Brendan Colley

Shortlisted for The University of Tasmania Prize

About the author

Brendan Colley

Brendan works in education, and settled in Tasmania ten years ago. He spends his evenings alternating between writing and scanning the skies for alien activity. Brendan lives in Hobart with his wife, Yvonne, who is working to complete her own novel.


On the same evening Geo Rosenberger returns to Australia, a group of Italians claim to have arrived in Hobart from Rome by train. Geo aspires to be a concert violist, and needs to sell the family home to fund his dream of attending auditions across Europe. His brother Wes, a detective in the Tasmanian Police, refuses to sell. Whilst dealing with their dispute the brothers become embroiled in the mysterious case involving the Italians. Labuschagne, a South African proprietor of a local conspiracy bookstore, is convinced the Italians inadvertently boarded a ghost train. He puts Geo and Wes in contact with Sten Svensson, a Swedish Ghost train hunter who has been chasing the locomotive for forty years. Accompanying Sten as he stakes out the train across Hobart, Geo starts to question his own dream, and his motives for returning home.