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The ATSB has found that a collision between The Ghan passenger train and a loaded sewage truck occurred when the driver of the truck drove into the path of the train at a private road level crossing at 'Murrow Farm' near Two Wells in SA.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has today released its final investigation report into the collision which occurred on 6 August 2007 seriously injuring the truck driver. At the time of the accident road traffic at the level crossing was controlled by 'Stop' signs.

The ATSB found that the truck driver did not stop and did not see the train until he was on the level crossing. However, vegetation adjacent to the crossing had grown to the point where the truck driver could not see the approaching train even if he had stopped as required. Had the vegetation been adequately maintained, the truck driver would have been able to clearly see The Ghan, stop and then proceed safely over the crossing when the train had passed.

As a result of this investigation, the ATSB has identified safety issues primarily related to maintenance practices for the control of vegetation in the rail corridor which require action to reduce the risk of future collisions at this and other level crossings. Six safety recommendations have been issued. The ATSB also acknowledges safety action already undertaken by the Australian Rail Track Corporation in response to identified safety issues. Copies of the report can be downloaded from the ATSB's internet site at www.atsb.gov.au or obtained from the ATSB by telephoning 1800 020 616.

Media contact: 1800 020 616
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Last update 01 April 2011