Railway accidents in New South Wales
The railways of New South Wales, Australia have had many incidents and accidents since their formation in 1831. (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 Kempsey, 1968
- 1.32 Borenore train collision, 1970
- 1.33 Heathcote train collision, 1970
- 1.34 Robertson, 1972
- 1.35 Mellilee, 1974
- 1.36 Gunnedah, 1975
- 1.37 Glenbrook, 1976
- 1.38 Granville railway disaster, 1977
- 1.39 Burbong, 1979
- 1.40 Valley Heights train collision, 1982
- 1.41 South Windsor, 1984
- 1.42 Cowan, 1984
- 1.43 Wentworthville train derailment, 1989
- 1.44 (Brooklyn) Cowan Bank train disaster, 1990
- 1.45 Parkes, 1991
- 1.46 Muswellbrook, 1998
- 1.47 Robertson, 1998
- 1.48 Glenbrook train disaster, 1999
- 1.49 Waterfall train disaster, 2003
- 1.50 Albury, 2006
- 1.51 Back Creek, 2007
- 1.52 Newbridge (near Bathurst), 2010
- 2 Accidents involving injuries only
- 2.1 Blandford, 1908
- 2.2 Picton Lakes (Couridjah), 1911
- 2.3 Hawkesbury River, 1925
- 2.4 Riverstone, 1939
- 2.5 Merrylands, 1945
- 2.6 Rookwood, 1946
- 2.7 Eastwood, 1948
- 2.8 Between Hawkesbury River and Cowan Stations, 1948
- 2.9 Roseville Collision, 1950
- 2.10 Maldon, 1952
- 2.11 Lochinvar, 1959
- 2.12 Geurie, 1963
- 2.13 Wentworth Falls, 1965
- 2.14 Robertson, 1965
- 2.15 Bellata, 1968
- 2.16 Riverstone, 1972
- 2.17 Gosford, 1982
- 2.18 Summer Hill, 1982
- 2.19 St Marys, 1983
- 2.20 Lithgow, 1993
- 2.21 Beresfield Rail Collision, 1997
- 2.22 Concord derailment, 1998
- 2.23 Hornsby derailment, 1999
- 2.24 Blue Mountains train fire, 2000
- 2.25 Kingsgrove derailment, 2000
- 2.26 Hexham derailment and crash, 2002
- 2.27 Sefton Junction derailment, 2007
- 2.28 Homebush Derailment, 2009
- 2.29 Blue Mountains derailment, 2010
- 2.30 Newbridge, 2010
- 2.31 Zig Zag, 2011
- 2.32 Pymble, 2011
- 3 Other Accidents
- 3.1 Springwood, 1923
- 3.2 Lindfield, 1929
- 3.3 Redfern Stabels, 1957
- 3.4 Robertson, 1965
- 3.5 Central, 1966
- 3.6 Red Hill, Coffs Harbour, 1974
- 3.7 St Marys, 1977
- 3.8 South Windsor, 1983
- 3.9 Springwood, 1987
- 3.10 Waterfall collision, 1994
- 3.11 Unanderra, 2003
- 3.12 Birrong, 2007
- 3.13 Exeter, 2010
- 3.14 Yass Junction, 2010
- 3.15 Kaleentha/Menindee, 2011
- 3.16 Wirrinya, 2011
- 3.17 Mittagong, 2011
- 3.18 Coalcliff, 2011
- 3.19 Granville, 2014
- 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 over Salt Clay Creek during a period of heavy rainfall.
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.
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.
On 27 April 1892, eight passengers were killed by a derailment of the rear carriages of a western-bound mail train caused by a broken rail.
Redfern Rail Collision, 1894
On 31 October 1894 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 an estimated 10 kilometres per hour, however the accident was devastating in terms of damage, injury and loss of life. Steam and hot cinders killed 13 passengers, including Edward Lloyd Jones the chairman of David Jones Limited, and twenty seven were injured. 
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 the 1 in 30 gradient near the Clarence tunnel. The engine-driver decided to divide the train. Unfortunately the engineman's mate did not release the air in the brakes. The second portion of the trained rolled downwards. The train's guard fell from his guard van and was injured. However, the guard of a stationary goods train that the runaway wagons ran into was killed.
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 were killed and at least four others critically injured following a collision on 15 January 1944 between the Tamworth mail train and a bus at a level crossing a short distance from Hawkesbury River station. The engine of the train struck the bus, which contained 21 passengers.
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 line 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
On 19 December, five people were killed and 748 injured when a Bankstown-bound train crashed into the rear of an East Hills train at Sydenham station. 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 the collision.
On 15 July 1962, a goods train hauled by two diesel locomotives crashed into the rear of a passenger train on a viaduct south of Liverpool Station. Two men, a guard and a signalman, were killed and seven injured.
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.
On 9 December 1968, the North Coast Daylight Express collided with a school bus at the Middleton St level crossing in Kempsey. Four schoolgirls were killed and 17 people were injured including 15 children.
A further two of the injured schoolgirls died in the days following the incident.
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 a head-on collision at Robertson resulted in the death of a railway fireman who was set alight by blazing diesel oil. A driver was charged with manslaughter.
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 brake van. The driver of the wheat train was killed. The guard of the coal train was only 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.
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 D6127 being destroyed by the impact with the platform and another, T5127 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 dropped 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 curve 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 insufficient time to move. The train driver, a guard and 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 and 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 loaded with hay bales and a hay baler drove into the path of empty grain train 3835 at the Tallabung to Back Creek Road level crossing, NSW. The semi trailer driver was killed 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.
Hawkesbury River, 1925
A north bound goods lost brakes heading down Cowan Bank and ran into a stationary light engine stopped at Hawkesbury River Station.
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 24 January 1945, an electric passenger train travelling from Liverpool to the city jumped the track on the bend approaching Merrylands railway station, causing the first four carriages to derail. The lead carriage flipped and spun, ripping open the following three carriages. The lead car slid along the tracks for 40 yards (approximately 36.5 metres), tearing up the rail lines in both directions, and fell down an embankment. The accident also caused electrical and telephone lines to be brought down. The driver, John Baldock, and 12 passengers were injured. A 7-inch (nearly 18 cm) bolt placed on the track was attributed to have caused the derailment.
At about 7.45am, on 19 November 1946, the front two carriages of the 7.08 Liverpool to Wynyard service jumped the points and diverted onto the Sydney Abattoirs branch line, near Rookwood Railway Station. Both carriages derailed, and the second car began to topple, but hit a steel stunchion, which was bent into the "shape of a boomerang" by the impact. Somehow the stanchion held and prevented the carriage from falling over completely. Of the approximately 600 passengers on board, only two were immediately taken to hospital with injuries. Another five female passengers, who worked together at a Flemington spinning mill factory, were later transferred to hospital after they all collapsed at work.
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.
At 6.30am, on 7 May 1952, two goods trains collided with each other 100 yards from Maldon Railway Station, located between Picton and Douglas Park Stations in the Southern Highlands. One of the drivers was seriously injured and taken to Camden Hospital.
On 19 August 1959 the North-West Mail ploughed into the rear of an almost stationary goods train. The fireman and driver of the mail train were 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 an Up 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 45 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 track 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.
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 as he passed over points switching the train to a relief line at mainline speed. 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 power lines. 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.
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.
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 wagons, 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 20 May 1923, 26 trucks carrying cement and coal ran off the track along with the engine
On 14 August 1929 there was a collision involving electric trains. The North Shore line had only just been electrified in 1928.
Redfern Stabels, 1957
Garratt 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.
Red Hill, Coffs Harbour, 1974
On 11 May 1974, a south bound freight train derailed when it collided with a "wall of red clay mud, rocks, trees and branches sealing off the exit of the tunnel." Driver and fireman exited through windows of the 44 class locomotive.
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.
Interurban electric train derailed by vandals placing rocks on the track just west of Springwood, causing the leading two cars to end up in a local resident's front yard on Macquarie Rd, Springwood on 29 September 1987
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 locomotives on 28 June 2003.
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.
On 30 September 2014, an empty passenger train caught fire near Granville station at around 7pm. The incident resulted in the partial closure of the T2 line between Cabramatta and Granville, causing major disruptions to passengers. The train driver and guard had to be rescued by the fire service. No injuries were reported.
Notes and references
- Railway Accident Sydney Morning Herald, 16 July 1858. At Trove
- The Haslem's Creek Derailment Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, February 1954 pp 17-21
- "Newtown Accident". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- "RAILWAY COLLISION AT EMU PLAINS.". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 21 February 1878. p. 3. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- "Bethungra, NSW: Train Derailment". Emergency Management Australia. Archived from the original on 17 October 2007. Retrieved 30 December 2006.
- The Bathurst Accident. Fookes, R.S. Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, March 1955 pp28-36
"Terrible Railway Accident.". Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal. New South Wales, Australia. 26 April 1890. p. 2. Retrieved 15 October 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
"SHOCKING RAILWAY ACCIDENT AT BATHURST. COLLISION 'AT.THE,RUSSELL-STREET CROSSING.". The Sydney Morning Herald (16,252). New South Wales, Australia. 26 April 1890. p. 12. Retrieved 15 October 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
- Tarana Derailment, 1892. Encyclopedia of Australia, Grolier Society of Australia. 1965. pp. Vol.7 p.358.
"ACCIDENTS IN THIS STATE (Tarana derailment).". The Sydney Morning Herald (21,925). New South Wales, Australia. 24 April 1908. p. 8. Retrieved 13 July 2013 – via National Library of Australia., 2nd paragraph
- "Redfern Railway Accident". Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- "The Railway Disaster at Redfern". 2 November 1894. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- "The Railway Disaster". Australian Town and Country Journal. 17 November 1894. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- "Other Accidents Recalled". Broken Hill, NSW: Barrier Miner. 10 June 1925. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- "Terrible Railway Disaster". The Sydney Morning Herald (19,636). New South Wales, Australia. 16 February 1901. p. 9 – via National Library of Australia.
- Pearce, Kenn (2000). Australian Railway Disasters. IPL Books. p. 47.
"RAILWAY ACCIDENT.". The Macleay Chronicle (1574). New South Wales, Australia. 10 December 1908. p. 4. Retrieved 15 October 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
"GUARDS LOSS OF LIFE.". Barrier Miner. XX, (6363). New South Wales, Australia. 11 December 1908. p. 5. Retrieved 15 October 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
"Sensational Railway Collision.". Dubbo Dispatch and Wellington Independent. XLIII, (100). New South Wales, Australia. 12 December 1908. p. 3. Retrieved 15 October 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
- Donnelly, Marea (20 April 2013). "A Town Like Werris Creek". The Telegraph.
"Fatal Rush of Steam.". The Scone Advocate. New South Wales, Australia. 30 November 1909. p. 2. Retrieved 15 October 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
"THE ARDGLEN RAILWAY FATALITY". The Maitland Daily Mercury. 7128, (4960). New South Wales, Australia. 8 December 1909. p. 7. Retrieved 15 October 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
"THE ARDGLEN ACCIDENT.". The Sydney Morning Herald (22,432). New South Wales, Australia. 7 December 1909. p. 8. Retrieved 15 October 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
- "Railway Fatality". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- "COLLISION. SOUTHERN RAILWAY. SEVEN KILLED. ENGINES AND TRAIN SMASHED. MANY PEOPLE INJURED.". The Sydney Morning Herald. 14 March 1914. Retrieved 13 July 2013.
- "BOWRAL IN MOURNING. FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS.". The Sydney Morning Herald. 16 March 1914. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
- "TROLLY RUN DOWN. RAILWAY ACCIDENT NEAR BOWRAL. ONE MAN KILLED AND FIVE, INJURED. BOWRAL (N.S.W.),". The Brisbane Courier. 13 May 1914. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
- "Hurstville, (Sydney), NSW – Rail Accident". Emergency Management Australia. Archived from the original on 15 August 2009. Retrieved 30 December 2006.
- Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, April 1961 pp61-65
- The Murulla Accident. Singleton, C.C. Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, June 1962 pp.89-90
- Along Parallel Lines – A History of the Railways of New South Wales, 1850 to 1986. Gunn, John. p387. Melbourne University Press, 1989, ISBN 0-522-84387-5.
- Pearce, Kenn (2000). Australian Railway Disasters. IPL Books. p. 126.
- "Crossing Tragedy - Brooklyn Smash Inquest". The West Australian. Perth, WA. 4 April 1944. p. 2. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
- "Four Men Killed on N.S.W. Railways". The Cairns Post. 26 December 1947. p. 5. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
- "Train down embankment". The West Australian (Perth). Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- "Fireman Killed As Derailed Train Explodes". The Sydney Morning Herald. 4 April 1950. p. 1. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- "Berala Train Collision". EMA Database. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- "Screwdriver in Signal Mechanism". The Morning Bulletin. Rockhampton, Qld. 4 March 1954. p. 4. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
- "Robertson Crash". Archives of G.F. Fogarty: Railway Safety Officer.
- "Injured Rail Driver Dies". Canberra Times. 8 August 1962. p. 10. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
- "Passenger, Goods Train Collide". Canberra Times (13 July 1962). p. 1. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
- "Railway Gangs Clearing Wreck". Canberra Times. 14 July 1962. p. 3. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
- "Liverpool, NSW: Train Crash". Emergency Management Australia. Archived from the original on 21 October 2007. Retrieved 30 December 2006.
- "Four Girls Killed In Crossing Smash". The Canberra Times. 10 December 1968. p. 1. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
- "Youth cleared in Kempsey collision". The Canberra Times. 16 April 1969. p. 3. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
- "Train Crash kills Driver". The Canberra Times. 1 August 1970. p. 3. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
- "Heathcote (Sydney), NSW: Train Collision". Emergency Management Australia. Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 30 December 2006.
- Stewart, Heather (2 December 1999). "Accident the second worst in Australia". The World Today. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 30 December 2006.
- "Fire Death". The Canberra Times. 2 May 1972. p. 3. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
- "Train fireman dies after head-on smash". The Sydney Morning Herald. 28 October 1974.
- "Two killed as train, truck collide". 14 May 1975.
- "Chronology of Australian train crashes". The Daily Telegraph. Sydney. 18 January 1976. Retrieved 13 July 2013.
- "Woman killed, son critical in van smash". The Sydney Morning Herald. 22 March 1979.
- "Guard seriously injured but passengers escape". Hawkesbury Gazette. 14 February 1984.
- "Driver dies as trains collide". The Sunday Telegraph. 29 April 1984.
- "Tangara Crash". The Sydney Morning Herald. 28 December 1987.
- "Major Transport Emergencies in NSW-1990, May 6, Cowan". Emergency NSW. Archived from the original on 12 October 2006. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
- "Truck Train Collision". Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- "Chronology of Australian train crashes". The Daily Telegraph. Sydney. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- "Level Crossing Accident" (PDF). Australian Transportation Safety Board (ATSB). Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- "Semi-trailer levl crossing smash". ATSB. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- "Collision between an XPT passenger train and a track-mounted excavator" (PDF).
- "Excavator driver, 25, killed in collision with passenger train". The Sydney Morning Herald. 5 May 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2013.
- Pearce, Kenn (2000). Australian Railway Disasters. IPL Books. p. 39.
- Pearce, Kenn (2000). Australian Railway Disasters. IPL Books. p. 64.
- "Hawkesbury River.". The Gosford Times and Wyong District Advocate (2150). New South Wales, Australia. 26 February 1925. p. 3. Retrieved 15 October 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
- "TRAINS COLLIDE.". The Canberra Times. National Library of Australia. 18 December 1939. p. 3. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
- "TRAIN SMASH". The Biz. New South Wales, Australia. 25 January 1945. p. 3. Retrieved 8 December 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
- "TRAIN DERAILED BY BOLT ON LINE". The Sydney Morning Herald (33,413). New South Wales, Australia. 25 January 1945. p. 1. Retrieved 8 December 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
- "Seven Hurt In Electric Train Accident". The Sydney Morning Herald (33,981). New South Wales, Australia. 20 November 1946. p. 5. Retrieved 9 December 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
- "Amazing Escapes When Crowded Railway Carriages Jump Points". The Sun (11,489). New South Wales, Australia. 19 November 1946. p. 1 (STUMPS EDITION). Retrieved 8 December 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
- "Seven Hurt In Electric Train Accident". The Sydney Morning Herald (33,981). New South Wales, Australia. 20 November 1946. p. 5. Retrieved 8 December 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
- "N.S.W. TRAIN CRASH". Western Star And Roma Advertiser (6261). Queensland, Australia. 11 June 1948. p. 2. Retrieved 21 April 2013 – via National Library of Australia.
- Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, December 1950, pp. 129-131
- "Driver Blamed For Rail Collision". The Canberra Times. 22 September 1950. p. 1.
- "Man Coughed – and 3 Trains Crashed". The Argus. Melbourne. 26 August 1950. p. 5. Retrieved 13 July 2013.
- "Goods trains in smash: 1 hurt". The Sun (13,188). New South Wales, Australia. 7 May 1952. p. 7 (LATE FINAL EXTRA). Retrieved 10 December 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
- Pearce, Kenn (2000). Australian Railway Disasters. IPL Books. p. 150.
- Pearce, Kenn (2000). Australian Railway Disasters. IPL Books. p. 156.
- Pearce, Kenn (2000). Australian Railway Disasters. IPL Books. p. 164.
- Pearce, Kenn (2000). Australian Railway Disasters. IPL Books. p. 231.
- K.M.Tiyce Station Assistant/Transit Officer
- Pearce, Kenn (2000). Australian Railway Disasters. IPL Books. pp. 168–69.
- "Train Plunges Down Embankment". Windsor – Richmond Gazette. 9 February 1972.
- "Station drama: Engine slams packed train". 11 January 1982.
- "Two city trains collide". The Sun. 19 March 1982.
- "Runaway!". The Daily Telegraph. 4 March 1983.
- Pearce, Kenn (2000). Australian Railway Disasters. IPL Books. p. 212.
- "Rail Safety Investigation Report 1998001 - Coal Train Collision". Australian Transport Safety Bureau, Department of Transport and Regional Services, Government of Australia. Retrieved 9 June 2007.
- "Beresfield (Newcastle), NSW: Rail Collision". Emergency Management Australia. Archived from the original on 15 August 2009. Retrieved 30 December 2006.
- "Concord, (Sydney), NSW: Railway Accident". Emergency Management Australia. Archived from the original on 20 October 2007. Retrieved 30 December 2006.
- "The New South Wales rail system—a disaster waiting to happen". World Socialist Website. Retrieved 30 December 2006.
- "1 missing as trains collide". Emergency Management Australia. Archived from the original on 9 September 2006. Retrieved 30 December 2006.
- "Kingsgrove derailment report released". NSW Ministry of Transport. Retrieved 30 December 2006.
- "Train derailment, Sydney". Emergency Management Australia. Archived from the original on 14 October 2007. Retrieved 30 December 2006.
- "Bungling down the line led to rail accident". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- "Fuel spill after Sydney train derailment". Sydney Morning Herald, 17 January 2007. 17 January 2007. Retrieved 17 January 2007.
- "Trapped Crane Driver Cheats Death on Rail Tracks". Careflight media release. 17 January 2007. Retrieved 18 November 2010.
- "Homebush Derailment".
- "XPT collision". Retrieved 11 December 2011.
- "Zig Zag Collision".
- "95 yo man crashes onto track". Retrieved 10 December 2011.
- "Springwood Train Derailment". History of Sydney. Retrieved 2017-01-08.
- "CARRIAGES DERAILED.". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 15 August 1929. p. 12. Retrieved 26 January 2011.
- "Passengers' Terror". The Sun. 25 January 1966.
- Garry Hayes (January 2017). "Red Hill Mayday". Australian Railway History.
- "600 in Blue Mountains scare". The Sun. 11 July 1977.
- "Researching previous BLue Mountains electric train crashes". Retrieved 2017-01-08.
- "Signal Passed at Danger resulting in derailment of Pacific National Service B9162" (PDF). Retrieved 4 May 2016.
- "Derailment of freight train". Retrieved 10 December 2011.
- "Collision of grain trains". Retrieved 11 December 2011.
- "Collision". Retrieved 7 December 2011.
- "Derailment". Retrieved 7 December 2011.
- "Train derails after hitting ute". Retrieved 10 December 2011.
- "Train derailment". Retrieved 10 December 2011.
- "OTSI Report". Retrieved 17 December 2012.
- "Train catches fire near Granville station in Sydney's south west". ABC News. Retrieved 23 October 2014.