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At about 1345 on Monday 11 October 2004, freight train DS212, hauling 54 fully loaded coal wagons from the Bloomfield Colliery balloon loop, became derailed approximately 300 metres north of Thornton station platform. The majority of the train passed through the crossing before seven wagons derailed over 103 and 104 points at the main rail corridor junction. Three of the derailed wagons tipped over fouling the Up and Down Coal Roads as well as the Down Main Line.

The investigation concluded that the derailment occurred as a result of gauge widening at about 182.527 km due to poor rail fastener condition, in between 104A points and 104B catch points which allowed the right wheel, in direction of travel, of the third axle on the trailing bogie of wagon NHRH 50245C to drop into the four foot. The adjacent right wheel on axle number three rolled the high rail outwards.

Given the lack of awareness of the poor and deteriorating condition of the high rail stability, a derailment at this location was inevitable without remedial action.

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