At approximately 1356 on 12 December 2006, a double trailer road-train truck drove into the path of The Ghan passenger train (1AD8) at the Fountain Head Road level crossing, Ban Ban Springs, Northern Territory. As a consequence, two locomotives, a wagon used for carrying passengers' private vehicles and nine passenger carriages derailed. There were no fatalities, however, the road-train driver and a female passenger were hospitalised and several other passengers and crew sustained minor injuries.
The investigation concluded that the truck was driven through the 'Stop' sign at the level crossing at a speed of about 50 km/h. The driver of the truck traversed the level crossing many times during the course of his 'working day' and had been in the habit of slowing rather than stopping at the level crossing 'Stop' sign. Factors influencing this act were the manner in which the task was normally performed, the expectation that a train would not be present and the operational constraints of road-train vehicles. It was also found that the ability of the road-train truck driver to hear the first two soundings of the train horn may have been compromised by his severe bilateral hearing loss.
The report identifies a number of safety issues and issues recommendations and safety advisory notices with the aim of preventing similar events.
Rail Safety Advisory Notices
|Date:||12 December 2006||Investigation status:||Completed|
|Location:||Ban Ban Springs Station|
|Release date:||13 February 2008||Occurrence category:||Accident|
|Report status:||Final||Highest injury level:||Serious|
|Type of operation||Passenger Train|
|Damage to train||Substantial|