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BHP train deliberately derailed

  • calendar

    7 November 2018

  • location

    Pilbara, Western Australia



Rail safety investigators are at the site of a deliberate train derailment in Western Australia's Pilbara region, after a runaway train brought iron ore miner BHP's rail network to a halt.

The fully-laden train, pulling 268 wagons of iron ore, was travelling from Newman to Port Hedland when the driver got out to inspect a wagon near Hester siding at 4:40am on Monday (5 November). While the driver was out of the cabin, the train took off, travelling more than 90km. It was eventually derailed at a set of points at Turner's Siding, about 120km south of Port Hedland.

In a statement, BHP said about 1.5 kilometres of track was damaged, and the recovery process would take about one week. In the meantime, train operations across BHP's network have been suspended.

Rail safety officers from the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator have arrived at the site of the derailment to begin an investigation. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is separately investigating the derailment. The investigation is likely to be completed in the second quarter of next year.

The implications for shipping are currently unknown.

For information about operations in Australia contact GAC Australia at shipping.australia@gac.com