Rail safety investigations & reports

Derailment of Coal Train DS212 departing Bloomfield Colliery Loop, Thornton, New South Wales, 11 October 2004

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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At about 1345 on Monday 11 October 2004, freight train DS212, hauling 54 fully loaded coal wagons from the Bloomfield Colliery balloon loop, became derailed approximately 300 metres north of Thornton station platform. The majority of the train passed through the crossing before seven wagons derailed over 103 and 104 points at the main rail corridor junction. Three of the derailed wagons tipped over fouling the Up and Down Coal Roads as well as the Down Main Line.

The investigation concluded that the derailment occurred as a result of gauge widening at about 182.527 km due to poor rail fastener condition, in between 104A points and 104B catch points which allowed the right wheel, in direction of travel, of the third axle on the trailing bogie of wagon NHRH 50245C to drop into the four foot. The adjacent right wheel on axle number three rolled the high rail outwards.

Given the lack of awareness of the poor and deteriorating condition of the high rail stability, a derailment at this location was inevitable without remedial action.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 3.6MB]
General details
Date: 11 October 2004   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1345 EST    
Location: Thornton    
State: New South Wales    
Release date: 23 January 2006   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Train details

Train details
Train registration Coal Train DS212  
Type of operation Coal Train  
Damage to train Minor  
Departure point Bloomfield Colliery  
Departure time 1345 EST  
Destination Port Waratah  
Last update 20 September 2021