Costly freight train derail­ment avoid­able

The Advertiser - - NEWS - MITCH MOTT

A FREIGHT train derail­ment that caused tens of thou­sands dol­lars dam­age was the fault of rails in­stalled al­most 100 years ago and could’ve been avoided.

A re­port by the Aus­tralian Trans­port Safety Bureau found the derail­ment was avoid­able if crews had fol­lowed up on tests that showed a de­fect in the rails.

The faulty rail shat­tered just af­ter 6am on July 28, 2017 at Dry Creek, de­rail­ing the last three car­riages of the empty freight train. There were no in­juries but it did cause ex­ten­sive dam­age to in­fra­struc­ture.

An ATSB in­ves­ti­ga­tion found the sec­tion of rail had been ex­am­ined a month ear­lier, un­cov­er­ing an ir­reg­u­lar­ity.

The sec­tion was marked but the fault was put down to poor con­di­tion of the top of the rail.

The re­port found the in­spec­tor had missed a chance to pre­vent the derail­ment by not fol­low­ing up on the de­fect.

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