Rail safety investigations & reports

Safeworking irregularity near Wards River NSW on 17 March 2011

Investigation number:
Status: Discontinued


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 investigation.

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.

General details
Date: 17 March 2011   Investigation status: Discontinued  
Time: 0851   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location: near Wards River    
State: New South Wales    
  Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Discontinued   Highest injury level: None  

Train details

Train details
Train registration Hi-rail  
Type of operation Track maintenenace  
Damage to train Nil  
Last update 14 November 2018