At about 0840 on 17 March 2011 a Track Occupancy Authority (No50A) was issued from 09-13 signal Stroud Road to 11-03 signal South Craven for a hi-rail weed sprayer to work on track. At 0851 the Protection Officer advised the Network Controller that he was in the Stroud Road to Craven section at 283.084 km (which is near Wards River @ 282.783 km) and was about to put the hi-rail on the track when he realised a train was approaching. No person was injured and there was no damage.
Section 21 (2) of the Transport Safety Investigation Act
2003 (TSI Act) empowers the Australian Transport Safety Bureau
(ATSB) to discontinue an investigation into a transport safety
matter at any time. Section 21 (3) of the TSI Act requires the ATSB
to publish a statement setting out the reasons for discontinuing an
On 17 March 2011, the ATSB commenced an investigation into a safeworking irregularity incident that occurred at about 0840 Eastern Daylight-saving Time on 17 March 2011 near Wards River, New South Wales. Examination of the information collected during the investigation identified that the occurrence had significant similarities to aspects of another occurrence already being investigated by the ATSB. That investigation, RO-2010-004, involved a collision between an XPT passenger train and a track-mounted excavator near Newbridge, New South Wales on 5 May 2010.
Given the similarity of the two occurrences, the ATSB has decided to examine the Wards River occurrence within the RO-2010-004 investigation of the accident at Newbridge. Accordingly, the separate RO-2011-005 investigation of the Wards River occurrence was discontinued.