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The owner of the runaway train at the centre of a multi-agency investigation says the driver struggled to slow the fully-loaded vehicle as it approached Unanderra at the weekend.
The 40-wagon train, owned by Qube Logistics, was hauling grain to Port Kembla along the Moss Vale-Unanderra line when it encountered brake problems just before 1pm on Saturday.
A Qube spokesman said the train operators, who were headed to Grain Corp Port Kembla, advised rail control at 12.50pm they “appeared to be having trouble slowing the train”.
“The train was nearing Unanderra [at the time], on the last part of its passage into Port Kembla,” the spokesman said.
Quick-thinking Sydney Trains staff managed to divert the train, which was on Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) tracks, to an uphill siding yard.
“ARTC and Sydney Trains took the precaution of ‘clearing’ the track ahead of the train, which involved setting all points so that the train could continue unimpeded,” the spokesman said.
“There were no other trains on that section track at the time.”
The driver managed to slow the train at Port Kembla’s Inner Harbour, where it was later placed in a siding, pending an investigation.
Qube was unable to comment further, the spokesman said, due to the investigation by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) and the Office of Transport Safety Investigations (OTSI).
“Qube is investigating and is working with the authorities to ascertain the cause or causes of the incident,” he said.
“The driver and his assistant have been interviewed and have been offered support and counselling.”
There were no injuries or damage during the incident.
This article first appeared on www.illawarramercury.com.au
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