At about 1135 on Monday 6 August 2007, a loaded sewage truck drove into the path of the south-bound passenger train, The Ghan (7DA8), at the Murrow Farm level crossing near Two Wells, South Australia. The driver of the truck was seriously injured and the truck was destroyed. The train's lead locomotive was severely damaged in the collision but the train driver was uninjured. Two minor injuries were recorded by passengers on the train and there was minor damage to the track.
The investigation found that there was insufficient sighting distance for the truck driver to see The Ghan approaching from the north before he crossed the railway track. There was vegetation growing adjacent to the rail track which impeded the sighting for the driver of the truck and the maintenance practices for the clearing of vegetation at the Murrow Farm level crossing were inadequate to maintain effective sighting of trains. Programmed works that had identified the vegetation as a sighting hazard which was to be rectified within 28 days, had not been carried out in accordance with the relevant maintenance specification. The maintenance priority had been revised from 28 days to 180 days without a reassessment of the sighting hazard.
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. The ATSB also acknowledges safety action already undertaken by the Australian Rail Track Corporation in response to identified safety issues.
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|Date:||06 August 2007||Investigation status:||Completed|
|Time:||1135 CST||Investigation level:||Systemic - click for an explanation of investigation levels|
|Release date:||20 August 2008||Occurrence category:||Accident|
|Report status:||Final||Highest injury level:||Serious|
|Train registration||Train 7DA8|
|Type of operation||Passenger Train|
|Damage to train||Substantial|
|Departure point||Darwin, NT|