Engineering, Environment and Sustainability, Freight Rail

ARTC dealing with washout at Cootamundra

A grain locomotive was left on unsupported tracks after a washaway occurred on the rail line north-west of Cootamundra on Wednesday afternoon.

An Australian Rail Track Corporation spokesperson on Thursday, October 6 said the Corporation was expecting to return freight services to the line that (Thursday) evening, but with a 20km/h speed restriction in place.

The line was shut from Wednesday afternoon after a sudden, large amount of water entered the rail corridor and washed away a small section of rail line.

“A loaded grain train was stranded on the rail line due to this incident, where the lead locomotive of the train had to stop due to the track washaway,” the spokesperson said.

“The locomotive stopped over a section of the washed away track but remained upright on the rails.”

No injuries were reported, and the incident is currently under investigation. Emergency services have also attended the incident site.

“Overnight [on Wednesday night], ARTC continued planning for the safe removal of the train from the site, delivery of materials and for track repairs to commence,” the spokesperson detailed.

“As of 10.30am [Thursday] morning the locomotives were being prepared for removal from the site.

“The second locomotive of the train will be used to carefully reverse the lead locomotive from the incident location.”

Track repair works were scheduled to begin after the rollingstock was removed.

The works largely involve delivery of and packing in new foundation and track ballast into the section that has washed away.

“This will then be compacted and the track will be inspected prior to operations resuming,” the spokesperson concluded.