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S.C.T. Derailment at Kiata - Friday 25th January 2002



 
Location of the accident site - two kilometres east of Kiata, between Dimboola and Nhill on the main Melbourne to Adelaide rail line.

Reported - 11 00 p.m. Friday 25th January 2002

Around 16 00 on the afternoon of Friday the 25th of January, 2002, the Melbourne-bound SCT. service derailed about 2 kilometres east of Kiata, between Dimboola and Nhill on the main Melbourne to Adelaide standard gauge rail line. (approx at the 384 km peg.) The train was hauled by Freight Australia's G539 and G520 followed by one of their 'on train' refueling wagons. Fortunately the locos and fuel tanker remained up-right.

The cause of the mishap was unknown at the time of writing, but the results were obvious.

Approximately the fourteen rear most wagons had become disconnected from the front part of the train with all but the final four coming to rest off the rails - see photos. Some of them were blocking one lane of the adjacent Western Highway. The last four or so wagons on the remaining front section of the train all had their front bogies off the track but were still up-right.

An on the spot report at about 20 30 revealed that recovery equipment was being assembled, with one large mobile crane and a large heavy recovery tow truck already there. Police were controlling traffic on the highway around the damaged wagons, but it was noted that no effort was being made to restrict sightseers from the area.

A radio news bulletin at 21 00 indicated that road traffic was by then being diverted away from the scene, probably once the clearing of the site began.

Rail traffic on the line will obviously be interrupted for some time, with G.S.R. cancelling the Overland from Melbourne to Adelaide tonight. Most freight services between Melbourne and Adelaide were cancelled and did not depart either city until the line was nearly ready to be re-opened - the prevented the 'usual' line up of trains in the crossing loops either side of the site.

Reported - 10 30 a.m. Saturday 26th January 2002
  • Overnight during the clean-up, traffic on the Western Highway between Dimboola and Nhill was diverted via Jeparit, 40 km north of Dimboola, adding about this distance to the trip.
  • The rear four wagons, that were still on the track, had been taken back to the siding at Kiata. Three were still on their bogies, and the other had been lifted off and placed on the ground.
  • The front portion of the train had been taken forward to and stabled at Dimboola, except for the four derailed wagons which had been rerailed but were left near the scene.
  • The site itself had been cleared up somewhat, and work had begun on repairing the track. Most of the damaged wagons had simply been moved aside, off the track and the road.
  • Many new sleepers had been delivered to the site and were being prepared (drilled...etc...) for installaton.
Reported - 1 00 p.m. Saturday 26th January 2002
  • G522 had been sent from Dimboola to retrieve the remaining four wagons that were still on the track - they were later sighted stabled at Dimboola
  • One damaged wagon was loaded on a road truck (see photo) and presunably was the one that appeared with the others at Kiata later in the afternoon.
Reported - 7 30 p.m. Saturday 26th January 2002
  • The first train through the site was a ballast train hauled by Great Northern locos 381 and 4477, dropping ballast. this train was sighted at Kiata at 6.45 p.m.
  • This train was then remarshalled at Salisbury Loop, about 1 km west of Kiata, to have 381 on the east end and 4477 on the west end. The train returned to Dimboola, passing the site at 7.20 p.m.
  • By this time the line was ready to be reopened to traffic.


Photos

A view looking from the west end of the train - the highway is the otherside of the tree at the right of the picture.    Another view looking across the highway.    A general view of the site taken at 1.00 p.m. on Saturday the 26th of January, the day after.
A view looking from the west end of the train - the highway is the otherside of the tree at the right of the picture.
Another view looking across the highway.
A general view of the site taken at 1.00 p.m. on Saturday the 26th of January, the day after.
The first train over the site was a Great Northern ballast train with locos 381 and 4477 on the front.  This picture shows the train returning towards Dimboola, with 381 on the front (obscured) and 4477 on the back, in push pull mode.  Picture taken at 7.20 p.m.    One of the wagons.    The site of the derailment.
A view looking from the west end of the train - the highway is the otherside of the tree at the right of the picture.
One of the wagons.
The site of the derailment.
Looking from the north side of the line showing some more of the damage and what was probably the actual site of the derailment.    The front of the offending train with G539 and G520, about a kilometre east of the derailment site.    A view of some of the wagons that came to grief, looking north across

		 the highway towards the rail line.
Looking from the north side of the line showing some more of the damage and what was probably the actual site of the derailment.
The front of the offending train with G539 and G520, about a kilometre east of the derailment site.
A view of some of the wagons that came to grief, looking north across the highway towards the rail line.



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