Rail safety investigations & reports

Loss of control and derailment of banking locomotives 5031 and 5034, near Kankool, New South Wales, on 3 June 2020

Investigation number:
Status: Active
Investigation in progress


The ATSB is investigating the loss of control and derailment of banking locomotives 5031 and 5034 near Kankool, New South Wales (NSW), on 3 June 2020.

The two Aurizon locomotives had finished banking a train up a hill and were on the return journey back to Chilcotts Creek. At 1948, the train driver advised the network controller that they had lost brakes. Following this, the locomotives started accelerating down the hill. As they negotiated a series of curves, both locomotives derailed onto the Down side of the single bi-directional track.

The locomotives separated and came to rest on their sides. The two crew climbed out of the locomotive cab and were later transported to hospital by ambulance. They sustained minor injuries and were released from hospital later that night. A Fire and Rescue NSW Hazmat service attended to contain a diesel fuel leak.

This investigation is being led by the  NSW Office of Transport Safety Investigations (OTSI). OTSI conducts rail investigations in NSW on behalf of the ATSB under the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003. Investigators have commenced collecting evidence from involved parties.

Should any safety critical information be discovered at any time during the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify operators and regulators so appropriate and timely safety action can be taken.

A final report will be published at the conclusion of the investigation.

General details
Date: 03 June 2020   Investigation status: Active  
Time: 1948 EST   Investigation level: Defined - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Kankool   Investigation phase: Evidence collection  
State: New South Wales    
  Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Pending   Highest injury level: Minor  
Anticipated completion: 4th Quarter 2021    

Train details

Train details
Line operator ARTC  
Train operator Aurizon  
Type of operation Heavy Rail Vehicle  
Sector Freight  
Damage to train Destroyed  
Departure point Chilcotts Creek, New South Wales  
Destination Ardglen, New South Wales  
Last update 20 July 2020