Train derailment forces closure

Headshot of Cally Dupe
Cally DupeCountryman
The derailment.
Camera IconThe derailment. Credit: Countryman

A 146km stretch of rail used to cart grain between Moora and Millendon in the Swan Valley has been temporarily closed after part of a CBH train carting wheat derailed.

An investigation is under way to determine what caused the 12 wagons towards the back of the CBH train to derail on the Arc Infrastructure line at 11.50am yesterday.

The incident occurred on the Midland Railway line, near Noland Avenue in the Upper Swan. The line is now closed while a clean up effort is under way.

The train was travelling to CBH’s Kwinana Grain Terminal and carting wheat from CBH’s upcountry grain sites for export.

The line is operated by Arc Infrastructure and is used by CBH to cart grain, but Watco drives the CBH-owned trains.

It runs from Walkaway, 30km south of Geraldton, to Millendon in the Swan Valley.

There, it connects to the Eastern Goldfields Railway line to provide access to the Port of Kwinana.

An Arc Infrastructure spokeswoman said no one was injured and a clean up effort was now under way.

“Arc teams, with CBH and Watco, are now working together to clear the site, conduct any necessary repairs and resume network operations as quickly as possible,” she said.

“Arc routinely conducts network inspections to ensure fitness for safe operations. Investigations have commenced to determine the cause of the incident.”

A CBH spokeswoman said it was providing support to the Watco team members that were “on site at the time of the incident”.

“Watco and Arc Infrastructure representatives are investigating the incident and will determine the safest manner to remedy the situation, with support from CBH,” she said.

The recent incident is the first derailment this year.

Last year, a CBH locomotive pulling 30 wagons filled with 1400 tonnes of barley fell on its side at Miling on June 26.

In December, a train driver died after a freight train was driven into the back of a CBH grain train at 2am near Jumperkine, in the Avon Valley.

A Pacific National freight train ran into the back of a stationary grain train. Aerial footage from the crash site showed wreckage strewn across multiple tracks.

In 2018, there were three derailments across Arc’s network, two on the Esperance branch line after flash flooding and one on the Eastern Goldfields railway line, according to Arc.

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