Rail safety investigations & reports

Derailment of Pacific National freight train 4MC2, and collision with V/Line train, at Barnawartha, Victoria, on 29 January 2020

Investigation number:
Status: Active
Investigation in progress


The ATSB is investigating a Pacific National train derailment and subsequent collision with a V/Line train at Barnawartha, Victoria, on 29 January 2020.

At approximately 1742 AEDT on 29 January 2020, a north bound Pacific National freight train had several wagons derail bringing the train to a halt in the township of Barnawartha, Vic. Shortly after a V/Line loco hauled passenger service, travelling from Albury to Melbourne on an adjacent track, struck a container from a derailed wagon from the derailed PN train. Seventeen passengers and three crew were assessed by ambulance services and no injuries occurred.

This investigation is being led by the Office of the Chief Investigator Transport Safety Victoria (CITS). CITS conducts rail investigations in Victoria on behalf of the ATSB under the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003.

As part of the investigation, the ATSB will examine the track, wagons, communications, and conduct interviews with relevant personel.

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: 29 January 2020   Investigation status: Active  
Time: 1742 AEDT   Investigation level: Defined - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Barnawartha   Investigation phase: Final report: Drafting  
State: Victoria    
  Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Pending   Highest injury level: None  
Anticipated completion: 3rd Quarter 2021    

Train 1 details

Train 1 details
Line operator Australian Rail Track Corporation  
Train operator Pacific National  
Train registration 4MC2  
Type of operation Freight service  
Sector Freight  
Damage to train Substantial  
Departure point Melbourne, Victoria  

Train 2 details

Train 2 details
Line operator Australian Rail Track Corporation  
Train operator V/Line  
Train registration 8630  
Type of operation Passenger service  
Sector Passenger - regional  
Damage to train Minor  
Departure point Albury, New South Wales  
Destination Melbourne, Victoria  
Last update 18 January 2021