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 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
- 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
- Many new sleepers had been delivered to the site and were being prepared (drilled...etc...)
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.