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The ATSB has found that a collision between a freight train and motor car occurred because the flashing lights, bells and boom gates failed to operate as the train approached the level crossing.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has today released its final report into the investigation of a collision that occurred at the Chapple Street level crossing at Kalgoorlie in Western Australia on 14 May 2007.

At the time of the collision the Chapple Street level crossing was controlled by flashing lights, bells and boom gates. The investigation established that the level crossing protection system did not operate as intended because a temporary wiring strap had inadvertently been left in place by engineering staff while making modifications to signalling circuitry.

The investigation established that although WestNet Rail had procedures governing the use of the temporary wiring strap this did not prevent the mistake from occurring.

In the interest of enhancing future road/rail safety WestNet Rail has been proactive in adopting a number of recommendations that address various safety issues including the need to re-examine risk assessment and engineering maintenance/testing procedures in relation to rail signal systems.

Copies of the report can be downloaded from the ATSB's internet site.

Media contact: 1800 020 616
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Last update 01 April 2011