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Last night at 1910, 7MW2 northbound steel train, headed by four NR class locomotives with 100 vehicles, with about fifteen loaded container wagons ahead of 85 empty steel coil wagons broke apart as the train was passing through Goulburn Station.
The last twelve vehicles, all 2TEU container wagons fitted with two coil cradle containers separated, we think, just south of the Braidwood road bridge, where vertical track irregularities can cause pitching of wagons. These were mainly PQGY wagons which had previously been used on the SCT/SBR iron ore trains from Wirrida to Port Adelaide. Some of these wagons are still used by GWA in this traffic. The separation occurred at the front coupler of PQGY 3080A. The identity of the wagon ahead wasn't clear, but it was a converted NODY wagon with a higher floor level than the PQGY, and significantly lacking a bottom shelf on the coupler which allowed the coupler to lift out of that on the PQGY over the rough track.
As the trailing cars of 7MW2 passed, a strong smell of braking was observed, but this was assumed to be due to a previous brake application. However, after what was taken to be the last vehicle of 7MW2 had passed, twelve vehicles rolled gently to a stop just past where I was standing. To my great disappointment, I was so amazed that I failed to take a photo.
The locomotives has stopped around the former North Goulburn station with the last few vehicles blocking the level crossing at the north end of Goulburn yard. The last of the twelve detached vehicles were standing in Goulburn's up platform.
SCT 6BM9 which was approaching was stopped just north of the second Wingecarribee river bridge near Towrang.
Since neither coupler was damaged and the air hoses had separated cleanly, the train was recoupled and departed after a delay of about an hour.
I have earlier observed two broken couplers on the opposing 6WM2 train, but this was the first time I've been present at such a separation.
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