An investigation has commenced into the collision of banking locomotives L277, 442S2 and C506, with the rear of grain train number 5446 near Werris Creek, New South Wales, on 6 January 2022.
On the morning of 6 January 2022, three Southern Shorthaul Railroad (SSR) banking locomotives were attached to the rear of SSR grain train number 5446 at Werris Creek, in preparation for banking operations up the heavy grade between Chillcotts Creek and Ardglen. Shortly after departure from Werris Creek, the three banking locomotives separated from the rear of the grain train. As a result, the grain train's brakes automatically applied and the train came to a stop. Shortly afterwards, the three banking locomotives collided with the rear of the stationary train, resulting in the rear wagon of the train lifting from its rear bogie and impacting with the long-end hood of locomotive L277. One driver on the banking locomotives sustained minor injuries.
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. OTSI transport safety investigators have commenced collecting evidence from involved and other interested parties to determine the factors contributing to the accident and, other safety factors concerning banking operations and emergency management.
A final report will be released at the conclusion of the investigation. However, should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, OTSI and the ATSB will immediately notify relevant parties, so that appropriate and timely safety action can be taken.