Train derailment closes east-west line

Train derailment in South Australia closes east-west line

By Samantha Freestone

A train derailment has damaged 300 metres of track on the east-west line in South Australia, closing the line until further notice.

The 12-wagon train derailed about 9.30pm on September 1 near Mount Christie, damaging the line between Tarcoola and Cook.

According to the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), the intermodal train carrying goods to Perth entered a passing loop to cross with a train travelling in the opposite direction.

However, its wagons blocked the line about 20 metres before the loop.

Following the accident, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) closed the line between Port Augusta and Kalgoorlie.

Assessment teams are at the scene to determine the full extent of the damage to the rail corridor and the amount of repairs needed.

A spokesperson for the ATSB says the bureau does not have any further information on the incident.

"The main east-west line is closed, and closed is closed," the spokesperson says.

"They have just stopped traffic. That’s all I know."

Sadliers Transport Managing Director Ian Cooke tells ATN the line has been notorious for derailments this year.

"We’ve had a bad year for derailments," Cooke says.

"The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) carries out an investigation on each of them and it takes them a long time to release their findings."

Cooke says Pacific National advised Sadliers of the derailment, which then passed the information onto its customers.

"We have a system of notification to our customers so they are up to date," he says.

Although there is no deadline when the line will reopen, Cooke expects it may be operating again by the end of the week.

"At this stage Friday is the realistic date the line will be re-opened," he says.

"It is one of those issues that change day to day."

There were no injuries in the incident.

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