Rail safety investigations & reports

Runaway loaded ore train M02712 at 211 km from Port Hedland, Western Australia on 5 November 2018

Investigation number:
Status: Active
Investigation in progress


The ATSB is investigating a runaway loaded ore train, M02712, operated by BHP on its Newman to Port Hedland railway, Western Australia, on 5 November 2018.

The train, consisting of four locomotives and 268 wagons, stopped at the 211 km point (near Hesta). The driver alighted from the locomotive to inspect an issue with an ore car. While the driver was outside of the locomotive, the train commenced to runaway.

With no one on board, the train travelled for 92 km before being deliberately derailed at a set of points operated by the control centre, about 119 km from Port Hedland (near Turner).

General details
Date: 05 November 2018   Investigation status: Active  
  Investigation level: Complex - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location: 211km from Port Hedland   Investigation phase: Evidence collection  
State: Western Australia    
Report status: Pending   Occurrence category: Accident  
Expected completion: 4th Quarter 2019   Highest injury level: None  

Train details

Train details
Line operator BHP  
Train operator BHP  
Train registration M02712  
Type of operation Freight  
Sector Freight  
Damage to train Substantial  
Departure point Newman Mine, WA  
Destination Port Hedland, WA  
Last update 19 December 2018