Safe railways for Australia

ATSB report: Near hit with detrained passengers on track at Kilbride, New South Wales, on 22 May 2014


17 January 2018

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has released the final investigation report into the near-hit with detrained passengers on track at Kilbride, New South Wales on 22 May 2014.

Report summary:
At 1137, NSW Train XPT passenger service NT33 had departed Paterson towards Kilbride when the driver observed a bus at the Mirari road level crossing and people walking on the track ahead.

A disabled coal train had delayed an earlier passenger service (V938), and the passengers had detrained to reach alternative road transport. The train crew of V938 did not comply with the Australian Rail Track Corporation network rules when detraining the passengers from their train, and had unknowingly placed the passengers in the path of NT33.

The driver of NT33 immediately made an emergency brake application and brought the train to a stand approximately 80 m short of the people.

There were no reported injuries as a result of the incident, but this near-hit shows the importance of strict adherence to recognised detraining and track protection procedures when transferring passengers from a stranded train to a safe place.

The investigation also found that key operational staff in NSW Trains and Sydney Trains continued to operate under RailCorp legacy systems, even though documented transitional arrangements had re-established lines of responsibility and authority. This misunderstanding of roles, responsibilities and limits of authority by operational employees likely contributed to inadequate communication between critical safe working positions.

A full copy of the report is available on the ATSB’s website: Near hit with detrained passengers on track at Kilbride, New South Wales, on 22 May 2014