Jump to Content



What happened
At about 1603 (WST) on Tuesday 28 December 2010, freight train 1MP5 derailed on the Trans-Australian Railway Line at Goddards approximately 240 km east of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia. The derailment occurred within a recently constructed crossing loop on a section of track managed by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC).

Train 1MP5 consisted of two locomotives hauling two crew vans and 49 wagons. There were no injuries as a result of the derailment but 23 wagons derailed, many of which were significantly damaged (including all triple-deck car carrier wagons) and about 700 m of track required replacement.

What the ATSB found
The ATSB determined that the derailment was a result of flange climb initiated by a track misalignment which probably grew as train 1MP5 traversed it, becoming large enough to initiate the derailment of the 11th wagon, followed by the 13th wagon and then the subsequent catastrophic derailment of wagons 15 through to 35.

Factors which contributed to the misalignment were the high ambient temperature, inadequately de-stressed rail and insufficient ballast through the derailment site. The ATSB also found that the ARTC's quality assurance processes used during the contracted construction of the crossing loop could be improved.

What has been done as a result
The ARTC have taken action as a result of the derailment and investigation relating to track construction, audit and quality control processes.

Safety message
Track managers should have robust audit and quality control processes in place to ensure that work undertaken on their railway by contractors meets the relevant contracted standard.

Share this page Comment