Rail safety investigations & reports

Collision between banking locomotives and grain train 5446 near Werris Creek, NSW, on 6 January 2022

Investigation number:
Status: Active
Investigation in progress


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.

General details
Date: 06 January 2022   Investigation status: Active  
Time: 0650 AEDT   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): near Werris Creek   Investigation phase: Evidence collection  
State: New South Wales    
  Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Pending   Highest injury level: Minor  
Anticipated completion: 2nd Quarter 2022    

Train details

Train details
Line operator Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC)  
Train operator Southern Shorthaul Railroad (SSR)  
Train registration 5446  
Type of operation Bulk grain  
Sector Freight  
Damage to train Minor  
Departure point Narrabri North West Commodities, NSW  
Destination Bullock Island Graincorp, NSW  
Last update 11 January 2022