Rail safety investigations & reports

Technical assistance to the NSW Office of Transport Safety Investigations (OTSI) in their investigation into the structural failure of a container wagon that occurred near Gulgong, NSW on 5 December 2012

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


On 5 December 2012, containerised grain train 8448N, travelling from Gilgandra to Walsh Island (Newcastle) was undergoing a roll-by examination at Gulgong, NSW, when inspectors noted a significant structural failure within the number-20 wagon of the consist. The wagon (SQDY 00060-G) had fractured transversely through the central box section main longitudinal member.

The NSW Office of Transport Safety Investigations (OTSI) was responsible for investigating this occurrence. To facilitate the examination of the technical and metallurgical aspects of the failure, OTSI requested assistance from specialist staff at the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB). To facilitate that assistance and afford the necessary protections to any sensitive information obtained during the course of the work, the ATSB initiated an External Investigation under the provisions of the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003.

On 16 January 2013, an ATSB specialist examined the failed wagon (and a second wagon that had presented cracking) alongside representatives from OTSI, the NSW Rail Safety Regulator and the wagon maintenance provider. Subsequently and throughout the investigation, the ATSB provided advice and commentary; including a review of the draft investigation reports and a failure investigation report commissioned by the operator.

The NSW Office of Transport Safety Investigations is responsible for releasing a final investigation report into this occurrence – all inquiries regarding the investigation or the report release should be forwarded to the OTSI.

General details
Date: 05 December 2012   Investigation status: Completed  
  Investigation level: Systemic - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): near Gulgong    
State: New South Wales    
Release date: 24 October 2013   Occurrence category: Technical Analysis  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  
Last update 03 April 2020