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An ATSB has found that inadequate load securing methods, combined with reduced track clearances, lead to a collision between a steel plate freight load and a passenger train at Eden Hills station platform on 30 September 2005.

The freight load had been protruding from the side of the freight train for at least 85 km before the collision occurred.

Eden Hills is located about 14 km south of Adelaide in the Adelaide Hills region. Both trains were heading towards Adelaide when the collision occurred.

There were no injuries and only minor damage to track and rollingstock infrastructure.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigation determined that the minor collision occurred as a result of movement of an inadequately secured metal plate load and reduced clearance between both tracks. Given the inadequate load securing methods, the risk of a load shift and strap failure, a collision became likely irrespective of track clearances.

As part of the investigation, the ATSB issued a safety advisory notice on 26 October 2005 to encourage better load security.

In the interest of future rail safety, the ATSB has now made further recommendations regarding the use and application of tensile strapping to ensure load security, reviewing acceptance and audit procedures to ensure load security, and reviewing standards and procedures to mitigate against reduced track clearances.

Rail investigation report 2005006 - Collision between Freight Train 5MA5 and Passenger Train 206A

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Last update 01 April 2011