Railway accidents in New South Wales
The railways of New South Wales, Australia have had many incidents and accidents since their formation in 1831.e (There are close to 1,000 names associated with rail-related deaths in NSW on the walls of the Australian Railway Monument in Werris Creek. Those killed were all employees of various NSW railways. The details below include deaths of employees and the general public).
- 1 Accidents involving loss of life
- 1.1 Locomotive No.1, 1858
- 1.2 The Newtown collision, 1868
- 1.3 Emu Plains Collision, 1878
- 1.4 Bethungra (Cootamundra) train disaster, 1885
- 1.5 Peats Ferry, 1887
- 1.6 The Bathurst Accident, 1890
- 1.7 Tarana, 1892
- 1.8 Redfern Rail Collision, 1894
- 1.9 Sydenham derailment, 1901
- 1.10 Lithgow Zig-Zag, 1908
- 1.11 Ardglen Tunnel ,1909
- 1.12 Brooklyn, 1913
- 1.13 Exeter, 1914
- 1.14 Moss Vale, 1914
- 1.15 Hurstville train disaster, 1920
- 1.16 The Aberdeen Accident, 1926
- 1.17 Murulla train accident, 1926
- 1.18 Eastwood, 1940
- 1.19 Brooklyn, 1944
- 1.20 Central, 1947
- 1.21 Sefton, 1947
- 1.22 Redfern, 1947
- 1.23 Bundanoon/Tallong, 1947
- 1.24 Rocky Ponds (Harden), 1948
- 1.25 Sodwalls, 1950
- 1.26 Berala train collision, 1952
- 1.27 Sydenham rail disaster, 1953
- 1.28 Robertson, 1962
- 1.29 Liverpool, 1962
- 1.30 Liverpool train collision, 1965
- 1.31 Borenore train collision, 1970
- 1.32 Heathcote train collision, 1970
- 1.33 Robertson, 1972
- 1.34 Mellilee, 1974
- 1.35 Gunnedah, 1975
- 1.36 Glenbrook, 1976
- 1.37 Granville railway disaster, 1977
- 1.38 Burbong, 1979
- 1.39 Valley Heights train collision, 1982
- 1.40 South Windsor, 1984
- 1.41 Cowan, 1984
- 1.42 Wentworthville train derailment, 1989
- 1.43 (Brooklyn) Cowan Bank train disaster, 1990
- 1.44 Parkes, 1991
- 1.45 Muswellbrook, 1998
- 1.46 Robertson, 1998
- 1.47 Glenbrook train disaster, 1999
- 1.48 Waterfall train disaster, 2003
- 1.49 Albury, 2006
- 1.50 Back Creek, 2007
- 1.51 Newbridge (near Bathurst), 2010
- 2 Accidents involving injuries only
- 2.1 Blandford, 1908
- 2.2 Picton Lakes (Couridjah), 1911
- 2.3 Riverstone, 1939
- 2.4 Eastwood, 1948
- 2.5 Between Hawkesbury River and Cowan Stations, 1948
- 2.6 Roseville Collision, 1950
- 2.7 Lochinvar, 1959
- 2.8 Geurie, 1963
- 2.9 Wentworth Falls, 1965
- 2.10 Robertson, 1965
- 2.11 Bellata, 1968
- 2.12 Riverstone, 1972
- 2.13 Gosford, 1982
- 2.14 Summer Hill, 1982
- 2.15 St Marys, 1983
- 2.16 Lithgow, 1993
- 2.17 Beresfield Rail Collision, 1997
- 2.18 Concord derailment, 1998
- 2.19 Hornsby derailment, 1999
- 2.20 Blue Mountains train fire, 2000
- 2.21 Kingsgrove derailment, 2000
- 2.22 Hexham derailment and crash, 2002
- 2.23 Sefton Junction derailment, 2007
- 2.24 Homebush Derailment, 2009
- 2.25 Blue Mountains derailment, 2010
- 2.26 Newbridge, 2010
- 2.27 Zig Zag , 2011
- 2.28 Pymble, 2011
- 3 Other Accidents
- 3.1 Lindfield, 1929
- 3.2 Redfern Stabels, 1957
- 3.3 Robertson, 1965
- 3.4 Central, 1966
- 3.5 St Marys, 1977
- 3.6 South Windsor, 1983
- 3.7 Waterfall collision, 1994
- 3.8 Birrong, 2007
- 3.9 Exeter, 2010
- 3.10 Yass Junction, 2010
- 3.11 Kaleentha/Menindee, 2011
- 3.12 Wirrinya, 2011
- 3.13 Mittagong, 2011
- 3.14 Coalcliff, 2011
- 4 See also
- 5 Notes and references
Accidents involving loss of life
Locomotive No.1, 1858
This locomotive, built in 1855 by Robert Stephenson with three others for the first real railway line in New South Wales, was involved in two fatal accidents. The first occurred as a derailment on 10 July 1858. The locomotive was pulling two open third-class carriages, a first- and a second-class carriage between Sydney and Parramatta. Near Homebush, the two third-class compartments left the rails and toppled down an embankment. There were thirty people in the two carriages, of whom two were killed, one a solicitor, the other a market gardener. In the ensuing investigation, reported in The Sydney Morning Herald, it was suggested that the problem was caused by damage to the hollow-cast rails which were not able to withstand the weight of the locomotive. Rail workers, some of whom witnessed the derailment, claimed that the problem was caused, at least in part, by the practice of loose-coupling the lightweight third-class carriages in the same way as heavy goods trucks. The matter also drew to the attention of the managers the fact that the price of first-class travel, at four shillings, was so exorbitant that even the wealthiest citizens of Sydney chose to travel in the open carriages.
The Newtown collision, 1868
On 6 January 1868 a man was killed when Locomotive No. 1 collided with a passenger train at Newtown Station. The locomotive was severely damaged and retired. It is now on display at the Powerhouse Museum. Newtown Station was at that time located west of the present station, its platform eventually forming part of the foundation of Crago's Flour Mill.
Emu Plains Collision, 1878
On the night of 30 January 1878 head-on collision between two goods trains. The drivers and firemen of both trains, together with a guard riding in the cab of the up train, were killed. The primitive system of working the trains was found to be responsible.
Bethungra (Cootamundra) train disaster, 1885
On 25 January 1885 the Melbourne-Sydney Express passenger train derailed near Bethungra, killing seven and injuring over 20. The cause was a washaway of a culvert (on Sandy Clay Creek?) during a period of heavy rainfall.[dead link]
Peats Ferry, 1887
On 21 June 1887, an excursion train from Sydney ran out of control down the steep Cowan Bank. There were two other trains full of holidaymakers standing at the platforms at Hawkesbury River railway station and disaster was only averted by the alert station master who could hear the roaring engine and frantic whistling. He dispatched a railway porter to throw the points lever open and divert the runaway down a siding that led to the new bridge site. The train lost speed along the railway causeway out to Long Island and collided with some empty wagons. The locomotive slid off the embankment and ended up partially submerged in the river. The engine driver was trapped in the cabin and drowned but the fireman escaped. The toll was six dead and seventy injured. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brooklyn,_New_South_Wales) (http://www.p2pconsortium.com/index.php?autocom=blog&blogid=53&showentry=470)
The Bathurst Accident, 1890
On 25 April 1890 an Up mixed train, after shunting at Kelso, climbed the 1 in 50 grade to Raglan where it again stopped to unload parcels as well as pick and set down passengers. The drawbar between the third and fourth vehicles broke, releasing the bulk of the train which commenced to run back down the hill, there being no continuous air-brake throughout the train. The runaway vehicles ran all the way down the grade, across the Macquarie River bridge and into Bathurst yard where they collided with the following goods train. Four passengers in the rear of the Mixed train were killed and three others injured.
Redfern Rail Collision, 1894
On 31 October 1894, a rail accident occurred at Redfern. The 9.31 am, six carriage local train travelling from Strathfield was approaching the terminus at Redfern. As the train reached the signalbox, it was hit without warning by the 9.30 am train bound for Goulburn, which apparently departed against a stop signal. The Goulburn bound train was only travelling at estimated 10 kilometres per hour, however the consequences of the accident were devastating in terms of damage, injuries and loss of life.
Sydenham derailment, 1901
Seven people were killed and twenty six injured when a steam locomotive and two passenger cars derailed just south of Sydenham station.
Lithgow Zig-Zag, 1908
On 8 December 1908 a locomotive hauling a Sydney-bound stalled on 1 in 60 gradient just beyond Clarence tunnel. The engine-driver decided to divide the train. Unfortunately the engineman's mate did not releasing the air in the brakes. The second portion of the trained rolled downwards. The runaway wagons. The train's guard fell from his guard van and was injured. However, the guard of a stationary goods train that the wagons ran into was killed.
Ardglen Tunnel ,1909
On 27 November 1909 the Fireman on engine T727 was scalded to death by escaping steam spewed from its funnel in the Ardglen Tunnel (between Werris Creek and Murrurundi.)
On 8 October 1913 at around 10:00pm, a migrant who was employed as a packer on the railway, was run over by a north-bound train and killed. The body, which was terribly mutilated, was not found till about 6.00am the following morning (9th).
Moss Vale, 1914
On 12 May 1914 one killed and five injured in the vicinity of Bong Bong Bridge when an express goods train from Goulburn crashed into the rail trolley on which they were travelling.
Hurstville train disaster, 1920
The Aberdeen Accident, 1926
Murulla train accident, 1926
An engine driver was killed in similar circumstance to the Eastwood, 1948 accident detailed below.
Total of sixteen killed.
On 15 January 1944 fifteen persons were killed and at least four others were critically injured following a collision between the Tamworth mail train and a bus at a level crossing a short distance from the Hawkesbury River station. The engine of the train struck the bus, which contained 21 passengers.
CROSSING TRAGEDY. BROOKLYN SMASH INQUEST Only One Railway Gate Open. SYDNEY, 3 April.-A survivor of the Brooklyn level-crossing disaster told the Parramatta Coroner (Mr Williams) today that the bus after having passed through one gate stopped between the rals because the other gate was almost closed. On 20 January a north-bound train struck a bus at the level crossingi near the Hawkesbury River station. Fourteen of the passengers on the bus were killed. Two died later in the Hornsby Hospital, and four are recovering.
On 24 December 1947 a man was struck and killed by a train at Central Station.
On 24 December 1947 a man was struck and killed by a train near Sefton Station probably whilst crossing the to visit his daughter's home.
On 25 December 1947 a man collapsed and fell in front of a train. The man was killed.
On 23 December 1947 an army private, Bryan Williams (18), was killed on the roof of a train a result of being struck by an overhead bridge.
Rocky Ponds (Harden), 1948
on 30 June 1948, four persons were killed and 19 injured when the crowded South-West mail train plunged down a 9 metre (30 feet). embankment near Harden, about 370 km (230 miles) south of Sydney, just before 5 am.
On 3 April 1950 a railway fireman was killed and the driver seriously injured when a petrol tanker on a derailed train blew up. The explosion happened when a railway embankment, weakened by heavy rain, collapsed, and the locomotive, with several trucks, plunged into a 30 ft deep cavity near Bathurst. The train was travelling between Tarana and Sodwalls, about 10 pm It was pulling trucks carrying oil, timber, and at least one petrol tanker.
Berala train collision, 1952
On 7 May 1952 in conditions of heavy fog, a fully laden passenger train ran into the rear of a stationary passenger train at Berala Station. Death toll was 10 with injuries to another 140 passengers. A crowded eight-car suburban train from Liverpool to Sydney was standing in the station at Berala (on the Bankstown-Liverpool line) when a second, equally crowded train from Bankstown ran into the rear (in heavy fog conditions) killing 10 people and injuring 140. Four of the carriages of the Liverpool train were telscoped into each other, with the dead being in the last two. The crash was so severe it was heard 4.5 km away. A belated commemoration service was held 50 years later.
Sydenham rail disaster, 1953
In the Sydenham rail disaster five people were killed and 748 injured.A signal electrician was manipulating a failed track circuit relay, but was distracted and forgot to release the track circuit when the train passed, causing a wrong side failure and a collision.
On 4 August 1962 one driver (Trehearn) was killed when three 44 class engines (4432, 4434 and 4439) were involved in a head-on accident.
On 16 July 1962, a loco hauled set of wooden end platform cars had halted short of Liverpool Station when without warning it was struck in the rear at speed by a train hauled by 4441. According to an eye-witness report (Rod Gayford) a guard was killed.
Liverpool train collision, 1965
On 31 October 1965 a freight train collided with a stationary electric passenger train waiting to depart Liverpool station in Sydney's south western suburbs. One person was killed and four people were injured. The cause was the driver of the freight train having fallen asleep.[dead link]
Borenore train collision, 1970
On 31 July 1970, the Silver City Comet passenger express had a head-on collision with a stationary Indian Pacific goods train at Borenore, near Orange. The driver of the Comet and an elderly female passenger were killed, with at least twenty injured.
Heathcote train collision, 1970
On 6 May 1972 there was a head-on collision at Robertson resulting in the loss of life and a railway fireman was injured in a train after a two train crash involving a Melbourne-bound freight train.
On 26 October 1974 there was a head-on collision between two goods trains. The collision derailed fourteen carriages. A train fireman, injured in the collision subsequently died.
On 13 May 1975 the driver of the Northern Tablelands Express and a Railways Inspector were killed when the train ploughed into a semi-trailer on a level crossing near Gunnedah.
On 16 January 1976 one man died and ten others were badly injured when a heavily-laden goods train ploughed into the rear of a four-car passenger train 500 metres short of Glenbrook Station.
Granville railway disaster, 1977
On 18 January 1977 electric locomotive 4620, while hauling an 8-car train travelling from the Blue Mountains to Sydney, derailed at Granville, hitting a row of supports of an overhead road bridge, causing the bridge to collapse on to two passenger cars of the derailed train. 83 people died and more than 200 were badly injured in this, Australia's worst-ever railway disaster.
On 21 March 1979 a woman was killed and her son injured in a level-crossing accident near Queanbeyan.
Valley Heights train collision, 1982
On 18 July 1982 there was a collision between a moving empty wheat train and the previous empty coal train which was stationary in Valley Heights station. The collision took place in the early hours around 2 am. There was a risk of explosion from the leakage of gas from two cylinders in the guards van. The driver of the wheat train was killed. The guard of the coal train was slightly injured, even though the brake van in which he was travelling was reduced to splinters.
South Windsor, 1984
On 13 February 1984 a train driver was killed when a train hit a semi-trailer. The trains guard was seriously injured.
On 28 April 1984 the driver of a suburban train was crushed to death when it ploughed into the rear of a goods train 1 km from Cowan Station. Four passengers were injured.
Wentworthville train derailment, 1989
On 27 December 1989 an eight car Tangara electric passenger train travelling west to Emu Plains became derailed just to the east of the station. Three of the eight carriages derailed, the rear car 6127 being destroyed by the impact with the platform and another, 5127 being condemned some months later. It was Cityrail's first major Tangara accident. A 41 year old male passenger who had to be cut from the wreckage of the rear car died later that day in Westmead Hospital.
(Brooklyn) Cowan Bank train disaster, 1990
On 6 May 1990 an electric interurban train travelling south between Newcastle and Sydney collided into the back of a chartered heritage tourist train, killing six and injuring 99 people. The heritage train (led by steam locomotive 3801) had stalled on the Cowan Bank, and dumped sand onto the track to increase traction resulting in a wrong side signal failure. Four fatalities resulted when the rear carriage of the heritage train was crushed by the impact from the electric interurban train. The driver and one passenger in the electric train were also killed. An interim ban was placed on heritage train operation in New South Wales following this disaster.
6 passengers killed on 6 May.
On 9 August 1998 Two rail maintenance workers, 31 and 50 years, were killed when an empty coal train rounded a sharp bend at 70 kilometres per hour (43 mph) and smashed into their truck, picking it up & spinning it into a cliff face. A third man who was on the tracks managed to leap to safety before the collision. The workers were part of 3 crews carrying out maintenance work on the Sandy Hollow-Ulan line near Muswellbrook. About 7 am the maintenance trucks were travelling along a gorge area beside the line when workers in the last truck noticed the train approaching & tried to warn the truck in the middle. Two of the crew from the middle truck had left the cabin, one closing a gate & the other picking up rocks from the line, leaving 2 men in the truck. The collision threw the men from the cabin & dragged debris 100m down the line. Despite the workers in the other trucks waving at them, the truck had no time to move. The traindriver, a guard & 2 workers were taken by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter to Newcastle for counselling. Rail Services Australia, employers of the victims, announced an investigation into the fatal crash. The investigation would focus on why both the maintenance crew & coal train were on the tracks at the same time & why no warning was given.
On 19 May 1998 two train drivers died when their freight train derails near Robertson, south-west of Wollongong, NSW.
Glenbrook train disaster, 1999
On 3 December 1999 an interurban passenger train collided with the rear of the Indian Pacific long distance passenger train waiting at a failed signal resulting in seven fatalities.
Waterfall train disaster, 2003
On 31 January 2003 a driver of a southbound interurban electric passenger train travelling from Sydney to Wollongong suffered a heart attack, causing the train to derail at high speed south of Waterfall station, resulting in seven fatalities and multiple injuries.
On 5 June 2006 an XPT train was involved in an accident with a sedan driven into its path at an active level crossing. The deceased driver of the sedan was found to have a cannabis concentration to a level where his driving performance was almost certainly impaired.
Back Creek, 2007
At approximately 1830 on Saturday 10 March 2007, a semi trailer partially loaded with hay bales drove into the path of empty grain train 3835 at the Tallabung to Back Creek Road level crossing, NSW. The semi trailer driver was fatally injured in the collision. The train derailed and, with the crushed semi trailer underneath the leading locomotive, travelled 144 m further onto and over the timber and concrete rail bridge over the Back Creek watercourse. The leading locomotive came to a rest off the track on the embankment past the bridge; the other two locomotives came to rest on the bridge. The wreckage caught fire following the collision, ultimately destroying all three locomotives, the bridge superstructure and the semi trailer. The train crew, although injured, were able to exit the leading locomotive and escape from the fire.The investigation found that the semi trailer driver drove into the path of the train without stopping at the level crossing's 'Stop' sign.
Newbridge (near Bathurst), 2010
On 5 May 2010 at 11:16am an excavator driver was killed when an CountryLink XPT (WT27) service collided with his excavator. The man was part of a crew engaged in trackwork that did not obtain necessary track possessions before proceeding to cut up spare rails by the track, and was subsequently hit from behind by the XPT on a blind curve at 69 kilometres per hour. When the XPT collided with the excavator, the excavator was propelled along the track for about 20 m before the extended boom struck a utility vehicle parked on the southern side of the track. The excavator and utility vehicle were then pushed off the track and came to rest about 38 m from the point of initial impact.
Accidents involving injuries only
On 10 March 1908 the North-West mail train travelling from Moree to Sydney. Two carriages derailed. A female passenger sustained injuries.
Picton Lakes (Couridjah), 1911
On 31 October 1911 there was a collision between the Sydney–Melbourne Mail express and a stock train. Nine passenger reported minor injuries.
On Sunday 17 December 1939, a goods train collided with a passenger train at Riverstone on the Richmond branch line. Both engines and two carriages were thrown off the line and the permanent way was torn up for several yards. The train crews jumped from the locomotives when they saw that the collision was inevitable ; the only man injured was Hilton Lynch, the fireman. The passengers were uninjured, although the collision was heard a considerable distance away.
On 25 June 1948 the crew of the early morning coast milk train were slightly injured when their locomotive overran a stop signal at exit points and derailed.
Between Hawkesbury River and Cowan Stations, 1948
On 11 June 1948 100 people were injured when two express trains bound for Sydney collided.
Roseville Collision, 1950
Three trains collided between Roseville and Lindfield stations on 28 July 1950.
On the morning of 28 July there was a serious dislocation of train traffic caused by the overhead power wiring fouling the down and up lines at Auburn, resulting in a complete recast of the affected electric services. To provide a reasonable service on the North Shore line, trains were transposed at Central, resulting in delays to trains and causing trains to catch up to those in front. A down electric commuter train "tripped" past a signal showing stop at the down end of Roseville platform into the section occupied by the preceding train. After recharging the brake air supply, the driver proceeded at above a cautious speed and came into violent collision with the train ahead. At the same time an up train was passing and hit the emergency brakes but came into contact with the telescoped cars of the initial collision, tearing the sides of that train away. There were no cases of serious injury to passengers on the three trains. The collision resulted in 3 carriages telescoping into the length of 1 carriage and remarkably only 10 passengers were taken to hospital.
On 19 August 1959 the North-West Mail ploughed into the rear of an almost stationary goods train. The fireman of the mail train was injured.
On 23 August 1963 nineteen passengers were injured when the Sydney-bound Bourke Mail train when it collided with the front end of a goods train fouling the main line.
Wentworth Falls, 1965
on 16 July 1965 two crew of a goods train were injured in a runaway train that derailed.
On 25 December 1965 a Down Freight train collided with a standing freight train. The moving freight train (Loco 4407)was traveling in an up direction entering the loop at Robertson station and coming out the other end and thus colliding with the stationary 35 class locomotive carrying freight in a down direction.
On 20 April 1968 five men were injured when two goods trains collided head-on.
On 5 February 1972 four people were injured when the front carriage of a two-car motor train left the rails and plunged down a 10 ft embankment.
On 11 January 1982 over twenty people were injured when an engine collided with a passenger train at the station.
Summer Hill, 1982
On 19 March 1982 thirty-nine people were injured when two trains collided.
St Marys, 1983
On 3 March 1983 twenty-four people were injured when a train derailed near St Marys Station.
On 22 July 1993 the driver of an empty inter-urban electric passenger train was injured after his train ploughed into two stationary electric locomotives.
Beresfield Rail Collision, 1997
On 23 October 1997 a coal train collided into the rear of another coal train standing on the same tracks at Beresfield station near Newcastle. The cause was a failure to stop at a signal. Six people were injured including the station master and a commuter who jumped from the platform moments before the collision. The crash resulted in dozens of coal-wagons tumbling over the platform and across the tracks, closing all four tracks of the Main North Line and a virtual demolition of Beresfield station.[dead link]
Concord derailment, 1998
On 9 June 1998 a Tangara passenger train on a southbound movement in the early hours of the morning derailed between Concord West and North Strathfield stations ending up partially in a local street, and almost completely blocking all North and Southbound rail lines. The cause was excessive train speed by the driver[dead link] as he passed over points switching the train to a relief line at mainline speed. Pictures It was found that the Driver had insufficient warning of the turnout due to previously radioed information and very close signals.
Hornsby derailment, 1999
On 9 July 1999 four cars of an eight car electric passenger train were derailed when it was incorrectly diverted into a siding, causing the train to hit a gravel embankment and become entangled in powerlines. Three passengers were taken to hospital with minor injuries.
Blue Mountains train fire, 2000
On 25 July 2000 a westbound interurban electric passenger train caught fire requiring the evacuation of the train and the hospitalisation of six people. The cause was thought to be an electrical fault in the roof of the leading carriage.[dead link]
Kingsgrove derailment, 2000
On 6 October 2000 an eight car Tangara train derailed at low speed near Kingsgrove station on the East Hills line, causing the rear three carriages to topple onto its side. The cause was a track twist as a result of very high temperatures. Ten people were hospitalised.[dead link]
Hexham derailment and crash, 2002
On 12 July 2002 a coal train derailed at the Newcastle suburb of Hexham due to a points failure. A signalman closed two of the four tracks at the site to traffic, however a passenger train on one of the adjacent pair of tracks continued onwards to collide with the derailed coal carriages, injuring eight people. The cause was found to be a breakdown in communication between train and signalling staff.
Sefton Junction derailment, 2007
In the early hours of the morning of 17 January 2007, two diesel locomotives hauling a Melbourne to Brisbane freight train derailed at Sefton junction in the western suburbs of Sydney. Diesel fuel was spilt from the leading locomotive. Following the derailment, the accident crane used to lift the leading locomotive (a QRNational CLP class), toppled over trapping the crane driver, who was hospitalised after rescue by NSW Fire Brigades.
Homebush Derailment, 2009
In January a train headed for Bankstown overshot the platform at Homebush, passed the signal at stop and derailed on the catchpoints. One passenger was injured climbing the stairs to exit the station. The investigation found that the SPAD and subsequent derailment was a consequence of an error by the Driver who misinterpreted which signal applied to his line. The Driver was relatively inexperienced and it is probable that his driving and situational awareness were adversely affected by fatigue brought on by insufficient quality rest and sleep. It was also found that the position of the two signals, ST265L and S261S, increased the probability of a driver misinterpreting which signal applied to the line. Associated with the Signal ST 265L were two safety features: the first, a train stop which automatically applied the brakes as the train passed the signal without authority (this reduction in speed as the train derailed mitigated the consequences of the SPAD) and the second, catch-points associated with the signal operated correctly and derailed the train away from the adjacent line. However, the position in the track layout of these two safety devices resulted in the derailed train stopping foul of the adjacent line. It was also found that the formation and ballast adjacent to the catch-points was sufficient to stop the train turning onto its side but not sufficient to stop it tilting to a 10 degree angle.
Blue Mountains derailment, 2010
On Thursday 4 February, a four car passenger train derailed between Woodford and Linden stations after hitting debris from a landslide. No one was injured.
At about 1113 on 5 May 2010, XPT passenger train WT27, travelling from Sydney to Orange, New South Wales collided with a track-mounted excavator on the main line between Bathurst and Newbridge. The XPT was travelling at about 69 km/h at the time of the collision. The excavator and a utility vehicle were severely damaged; the leading power car of the train received moderate damage. The operator of the track-mounted excavator was fatally injured and one train passenger incurred minor injuries.
Zig Zag , 2011
At 1:30pm on 1 April 2011, a Zig Zag Railway maintenance vehicle (the Hi-Rail), collided with a two-car Rail Motor on the No 1 Viaduct, Top Road, between Clarence and Top Points stations. The Hi-Rail, with a Driver and Passenger on board, was freewheeling down the hill in reverse in the section from Clarence towards Top Points. The Rail Motor, operated by a Driver, was travelling empty in the opposite direction from Top Points. The Rail Motor Driver saw the approaching vehicle and applied the brakes. However, the two persons on board the Hi-Rail, facing the opposite direction, did not see the Rail Motor before the collision. The force of the collision compacted the body of the Hi-Rail such that neither cab door would open. The two occupants of the Hi-Rail were injured in the collision and were assisted out of the Hi-Rail and onto the Rail Motor by the Rail Motor Driver who was uninjured. The force of the collision caused a minor misalignment of the track. The investigation established that the collision resulted from the Driver of the Rail Motor and the Driver of the Hi-Rail not being aware that they were travelling towards each other on the same track in the Top Points-Clarence section. This lack of situational awareness resulted from procedural errors. The Rail Motor Driver departed Top Points without communicating his intention to his Guard or the Hi-Rail crew, and the Rail Motor Guard exceeded his authority by authorising the Hi-Rail to leave a worksite and proceed to Top Points. A number of other factors were found to have contributed to the collision, particularly a lack of radio communications and operational safeworking errors. Other safety issues identified during the investigation included delayed notification of the accident; poor maintenance of Train Register Books; passengers travelling in the Rail Motor driver’s cab; Rail Motor Driver’s fatigue; and excess speed of the Hi-Rail.
On 16 November 2011 a 95-year-old man was rescued from the wreckage of his car after driving it onto train tracks on Sydney's north shore. Paramedics took almost an hour to remove the man, who veered off Beechworth Road in Pymble and landed 10 metres down an embankment on the train tracks. He was taken to hospital with minor injuries.
On 14 August 1929 there was a collision involved electric trains. The North Shore line had been electrified only about 1928. "CARRIAGES DERAILED.". The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842–1954) (NSW: National Library of Australia). 15 August 1929. p. 12. Retrieved 26 January 2011.
Redfern Stabels, 1957
Garrett class locomotive driven into turn table pit, resulting in disruption to services for days while cranes where brought in to remove the loco.
On 25 December 1965 engine 4407 hauling freight collided head-on with a freight train standing at Robertson (hauled by 4539?).
On 25 January 1966 a derailed electric train carriage brought down a powerline stanchion at Central Station.
St Marys, 1977
On 11 July 1977 a carriage was derailed on as Blue Mountains train, a kilometre west of St Marys Station. There were 600 passengers on the train but no one was hurt.
South Windsor, 1983
No one injured.
Waterfall collision, 1994
Two S-set electric trains collided in the early hours of the morning during a shunting procedure at Waterfall station in the south of Sydney. Both trains were empty of passengers. Carriages jack-knifed in spectacular fashion onto the platform causing demolition of a concrete ramp and part of the station canopy.
The derailing of two trains on 17 January 2007.
At about 1856 on 24 January 2010 a loaded freight train designated 2224, travelling from Medway Junction to Berrima Junction, derailed one bogie on the second-last wagon at Exeter, NSW.
Yass Junction, 2010
At about 0153 on 9 December 2010 an Up (northbound) loaded grain train travelling from Barellan, New South Wales (NSW) to Maldon, NSW and numbered as 3234, collided at low speed with the rear of another Up (northbound) loaded grain train, numbered as 8922, on the Down2 Main line at Yass Junction, NSW. The intended operation had been for both trains to wait, one behind the other, on the Down Main line at Yass Junction to enable a third northbound goods train, 4MB2, to pass them both on the adjacent Up Main line.
At about 1545, on Wednesday 13 July 2011, freight train 3SP7 collided with a road-rail vehicle in the Kaleentha to Menindee section of track, located in western New South Wales (NSW). The road-rail vehicle, a Toyota Landcruiser station wagon, was extensively damaged. The lead locomotive of train 3SP7, NR4 incurred only minor damage and after effecting repairs at the incident site the train continued through to Port Augusta en route to Perth. There were no injuries and no damage to fixed infrastructure.
Initial reports indicate that at about 0545 on 23 October 2011 train 7SP5, travelling on the interstate main rail line, derailed at Wirrinya NSW. No person was injured but there was significant damage to rolling stock and infrastructure.
On 6 November 2011 a passenger train derailed near Mittagong in the New South Wales Southern Highlands after hitting an abandoned ute which was left on the railway track after becoming bogged there. The northbound train was carrying nine passengers and three crew, but no one was hurt.
On 24 November 2011 the commuter and freight rail line was thrown into chaos when a coal train derailed near Coalcliff and forced the closure of the only line between Thirroul and Waterfall. The Office of Transport Safety Investigations found that the cause of the derailment was a broken axle. The investigation revealed that the barrel of the No. 3 axle of the eighth position wagon had broken and parted, causing both wheels to derail. As a result, seven wagons following this wagon derailed. The two locomotives and all other wagons remained on the track. Although there were no injuries as a result of the derailment, approximately 470 metres of damaged track needed to be replaced. The investigation established that the break in the axle was attributable to the propagation of metal fatigue at the site of the fracture. The fatigue fracture was initiated some time prior to the final complete failure of the axle at the derailment site but, due to damage sustained in the derailment, the initiator of the fracture could not be determined.
Notes and references
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