If it was Victoria - first and foremost call a fleet of busses!
Thankfully, locomotives these days locomotives are not only generally more reliable (except N class apparently) than they used to be but virtually all freight services have at least two (and often more) locomotives. Often these trains are powered for speed rather than drag and often have the ability to crawl out of the section.
The big trouble in Victoria these days is:
- There is nowhere to put a disabled train away.
- There are very few facilities to terminate and reverse trains enroute to allow assistance in the rear or to allow assistance in front.
- The train behind the failure will be a spark (or worse still) a railcar. The days of sparks assisting goods trains have long gone.
- There is no one on the ground capable of introducing single line, wrong line or pilotman working etc.
Hence 'call the busses' and hope that the obstruction goes away of its own accord but there is little freight/passenger interaction these days as so little freight.
I recall several failures many years ago:
One was an S on the down SoP at Pascoe Vale. Under double line block the following spark was WLC at Essendon which a relief B class from North Melbourne was easily able to pass and attach to rear of the SoP to push the train to Broadmeadows. There was the ability to do virtually anything at Essendon in those days.
Another was an R on an evening Seymour pass disabled in 4 road at Essendon (plat 3). Relief engine called from North Melbourne and disabled engine cut off train and reversed into 2 road immediately. Sparks unaffected and run via 1 and/or 3 road (plats 1 & 2) meanwhile. Relief engine arrives via 3 road and reverses onto Seymour train change crew and away it goes. Disabled R then wanders off back to North Melbourne.
Third case was a gunzel special at Oak Park - automatic signalling by this time and Tait train following the special brought to rear of special and assists in the rear to Glenroy.
These days nothing is compatible with anything else so far as couplers, brakes, power, ownership or crew capability are concerned.