What happened

At about 2119 on 9 April 2013, freight train 331 derailed while travelling between Burnie and Boyer in Tasmania. The train travelled for about 2.5 km while derailed and came to a stop at Lowdina, about 48 km north of Hobart.

What the ATSB found

The ATSB investigation found that a large twist defect in the track near Lowdina caused the leading wheelset of the third wagon’s trailing bogie to unload and derail.

The investigation further found that it is likely that a previously undetected, small to medium sized twist defect, either at or near the derailment site, developed under the passage of train 331.

What's been done as a result

Prior to this incident, the network owner/manager (TasRail) had identified the need to renew the track infrastructure in the area of the derailment and anticipates that the track between Colebrook and Campania should be renewed by June 2014.

Safety message

Early detection and conscientious management of track defects is critical in maintaining safe rail operations.