Rail safety investigations & reports

Derailment of Pacific National coal train MR280 at Baerami, NSW, on 6 February 2019

Investigation number:
Status: Active
Investigation in progress


The ATSB is investigating the derailment of coal train MR280 at Baerami near Muswellbrook, NSW, which occurred on 6 February 2019.

At approximately 0325 AEDT, Pacific National coal train MR280 travelling towards Newcastle derailed as it was travelling through a section of the ARTC network that was under a temporary speed restriction of 20km/h. The speed restriction was imposed in order to mitigate risk due to a measured series of defects in the track. The last six wagons of the loaded train derailed and came to rest adjacent to a stationary train which was in a crossing loop at Baerami. Damage was found spanning approximately 2 kilometers of track in the down direction from the point of rest.

As part of the investigation, the ATSB will obtain a track engineering report and locomotive datalogger information, and will interview the train crew.

A final report will be released at the end of the investigation.

Should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify those affected and seek safety action to address the issue.

General details
Date: 06 February 2019   Investigation status: Active  
Time: 0325 AEDT   Investigation level: Defined - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Baerami   Investigation phase: Evidence collection  
State: New South Wales    
  Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Pending   Highest injury level: None  
Anticipated completion: 1st Quarter 2020    

Train details

Train details
Line operator Australian Rail Track Corp. (ARTC)  
Train operator Pacific National  
Train registration MR280  
Type of operation Coal train  
Sector Freight  
Damage to train Substantial  
Departure point Moorlarben Coal Mine, NSW  
Destination Port of Newcastle, NSW  
Last update 22 February 2019