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Prelim derailment probe out


A preliminary report into Devonport's train derailment in September says an emergency stop command didn't work.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has found the unmanned locomotive rolled away from the Railton cement loading facility after becoming unresponsive to the driver's remote control.

"The driver stated that he attempted multiple times to reset the remote control equipment with the portable remote transmitter. After allowing time for the remote control system to recover, the locomotive continued to be unresponsive to his commands," said the report. 

"The driver recalled trying to activate the emergency stop features of the remote system by removing power to the portable remote control system’s transmitter. However, the train did not respond to these commands and gradually gained speed as it rolled away from the loading facility." 


Authorities had little choice but to derail the runaway train at a dead-end siding on Formby Road.

Two pedestrians were injured as the train ploughed through a fence.

The investigation continues and will look at factors including the driver's experience and medical history as well as the design and compatibility of the remote control system.

The final report is due in the second half of next year. 

Top image: Leigh Dixon

Below: ATSB