Rail safety investigations & reports

Derailment of freight train 6MB4, Bethungra, NSW, on 15 January 2022

Investigation number:
Status: Active
Investigation in progress


An investigation has commenced into the derailment of a freight train at Bethungra, New South Wales, on 15 January 2022.

At approximately 0323 on 15 January 2022, the driver of 6MB4 reported losing air on the Up Main at 452.000 km. Shortly after, the driver reported that three wagons (RRAY07213S, RRQY08515T and QQCY01120F), in the centre of the consist of 33 wagons, had derailed. The wagons sustained substantial damage and there was also major damage to the track infrastructure. The train crew were uninjured.

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: 15 January 2022   Investigation status: Active  
Time: 0323 EDT   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Bethungra   Investigation phase: Evidence collection  
State: New South Wales    
  Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Pending   Highest injury level: None  
Anticipated completion: 2nd Quarter 2022    

Train details

Train details
Line operator Australian Rail Track Corporation  
Train operator Pacific National  
Train registration 6MB4  
Type of operation Freight  
Sector Freight  
Damage to train Substantial  
Departure point Melbourne, Victoria  
Destination Brisbane, Queensland  
Last update 19 January 2022