Rail safety investigations & reports

Derailment of train 5PS6 near Golden Ridge WA, 30 January 2009

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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At approximately 1031 on Friday 30 January 2009, freight train 5PS6, operated by Pacific National (PN), derailed near Golden Ridge, about 43 km east of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia. The two locomotives, the crew van and 18 wagons (including 7 multiple platform freight wagons) derailed.

There were only minor injuries to the train crew as a result of the derailment. However, there was significant damage to the derailed rolling stock and about 200 m of track was destroyed.

The investigation determined that heavy rainfall to the east of Golden Ridge on the morning of 30 January 2009 led to localised flash flooding which damaged the track formation and ballast, resulting in the derailment of train 5PS6. A number of minor safety issues were identified during the investigation and have been brought to the attention of the track manager and train operator. Those issues relate to track drainage, identification of severe weather events, availability of hand-held communication devices and escape from the damaged locomotive cabin. The train operator has taken or proposed safety action in relation to train evacuation and communication issues. In addition, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau has issued three safety advisory notices to the track owner.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 1.28MB]
General details
Date: 30 January 2009   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1115 WDT   Investigation level: Systemic - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): near Golden Ridge    
State: Western Australia    
Release date: 26 May 2010   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Minor  

Train details

Train details
Train registration Train 5PS6  
Type of operation Freight Train  
Damage to train Substantial  
Departure point Perth  
Destination Sydney  
Last update 03 April 2020