Australian coal rail corridor closed after train derailment

Image: Australia crash investigation unit

Two freight trains collided in Queensland, Australia, on 29 January, causing an indefinite closure of the railway line between Rockhampton and Gladstone. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said that a freight train derailed and hit another coal train. 

According to the ATSB’s report, a freight train derailed, for causes still unclear, hitting a coal train in Marmor, roughly halfway through between Rockhampton and Gladstone. Aurizon, one of Australia’s largest rail freight operators, was quoted by Reuters saying that in the accident, some container wagons were derailed and damaged the track and overhead power lines.

The closure of the Rockhampton-Gladstone corridor is likely to have an impact on the coal industry. Rockhampton is, in fact, home to the largest coal reserve in Australia, and the line is often used to transport coal from the state basin from Bowen.

ATSB’s investigations already underway

The accident occurred around 7:15 pm on 29 January, with no injuries reported. The ATSB has already launched an investigation. “Once on site, investigators will examine the railway infrastructure and rolling stock in-situ, documenting evidence and removing any relevant components for further examination at the ATSB’s facilities in Canberra”, the ATSB added.

Image: Australia crash investigation unit

The ATSB said that further investigations will include interviewing the drivers, operations staff, and any witnesses, reviewing operator procedures, analysing any recorded information, and examining relevant components. As Australian journalist Roman McKinnon mentioned on Twitter, the accident did not only impact the rail. The section of the Bruce Highway around Marmor has also been closed, with backroads already in bad conditions due to the recent weather.

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Author: Marco Raimondi

Marco Raimondi is an editor of, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

1 comment op “Australian coal rail corridor closed after train derailment”

bönström bönström|10.02.23|11:23

“Causes unclear”, thus regrettably “business as usual”, revealing that quality programs at industry are not worth name!
Not sustainable, low price track standards, have turned high cost!
“Squats/studs”, cracks and broken rails, by far single most frequent cause of derailment – is not optimal!…
(Clients, ware owners, since long have shifted strategy to “On Demand” and “JIT”!)
Causes of disturbances, frequent mechanical repairing (“maintenance”)… simply shall be outed, from infrastructure!

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