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Pacific National increases coal train checks after 2017 derailment miss

This morning’s Newcastle Herald has reported that PN has said they’ll be increasing routine coal train inspections after a train could have been derailed following the discovery of a fractured bogie in 2017 in Kooragang. The train was fully loaded as it travelled to Newcastle.

A PN worker missed the fracture with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) saying that it was likely that the fracture wasn’t visible to them at the time.

A report from the ATSB also said that the bogie design was also prone to cracks and the Trackside monitoring equipment didn’t create an alert after recording the progressing fracture.

However, it is of note that the PN worker was mainly supposed to watch the wagon doors closing rather than do full roll-by inspections. This was a single worker on their own who identified the fracture as soon as they were placed on the same side of the fractured bogie.

“We want to make sure that situations like this never occur again and are glad that PN is expanding their regular coal train checks. We also urge that no single worker is placed under such immense responsibility unknowingly. I can only imagine what would have happened had something gone wrong,” said RTBU NSW Loco Division Secretary Bob Hayden.

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