Freight Rail, Safety, Standards & Regulation

Runaway Qube freight train under investigation

Qube train. Photo: Qube

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has opened an investigation into an incident late last month involving an out-of-control Qube freight train that was headed for Port Kembla along the Moss Vale-Unanderra line.

At 12.48 AM on 22 April ARTC train control was alerted by the crew of the Qube 8960 that their train was running away as it approached Dombarton.

ARTC then informed Sydney Trains of the incident, who cleared a path for the train as it passed through Unanderra towards Inner Harbour.

The train reportedly reached a maximum speed of 118.6 kilometres per hour before eventually stopping on a rising grade at the north fork on the approach to Inner Harbour.

The owners of the train, Qube Logistics, have indicated that braking issues led to the incident, with a spokesperson quoted in the Illawarra Mercury saying that the train crew notified ARTC train control that they “appeared to be having trouble slowing the train”, which was fully-loaded with grain.

“Qube is investigating and is working with the authorities to ascertain the cause or causes of the incident,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying.

“The driver and his assistant have been interviewed and have been offered support and counselling.”

No injuries or damage to infrastructure and assets have been reported.

The investigation now underway will be conducted by officers from the NSW Office of Transport Safety Investigations, under the provisions of the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003.

The investigators have reportedly begun collecting evidence and statements from all the involved parties for the compilation of a report that will eventually detail the full findings of the investigation.

The final report is expected to be complete in June next year.