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Glenalta derailment report.

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Media contact: John Deller on (08) 8374 0511 or 0439 802 767 Website:


2 February 2006


Freight train operators must act urgently on today’s findings on the Glenalta derailment to help ensure the safety of hills residents is not again put at risk.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has brought down its report into the derailment of a freight train at Glenalta Station on 21 November 2004.

It confirmed that ten wagons were derailed with four of these spilling down an embankment and into private residential properties.

The report points the finger at the handling of the train by its operators, Pacific National, rather than the condition of the track. The placement of three empty carriages immediately behind the locomotive was cited as one of the contributing factors likely to have caused the derailment.

Pacific National must urgently examine today’s findings and act to protect against similar derailments. In particular, it must act on the seven Safety Recommendations which have been made by the ATSB. The South Australian Rail Safety Regulator must work closely with the ATSB and Pacific National to ensure the recommendations are fully responded to, especially in the interests of hills residents.

With large freight trains rumbling along near people’s back fences in the hills there is no margin for error in the operation of trains.

We cannot have technical glitches sending freight carriages thundering into resident’s properties.

I will be seeking assurances about the protection of local homes at an urgent meeting which I have sought with the Federal Transport Minister, Warren Truss.

Hills residents near the rail line have previously expressed concerns about their safety. I will be taking on board community concerns about this issue and representing them to the Minister at the meeting during the coming sittings of Parliament, which resume next week.

The ATSB report can be found at: