THE importance of rail safety systems has been emphasised following a freight train derailment in northern Victoria early last year.

On 21 January 2019, a freight train with two locomotives and 31 wagons was travelling from Barnawartha in northern Victoria to Altona, in Melbourne.

Around 3.30pm, the train passed through Creighton travelling at about 100 kmh.

About 500metres after crossing Creighton Siding Road, the leading bogie of the third-last wagon derailed.

The train was brought to a halt with minor damage to the wagon and track and no injuries.

The ATSB found the wagon probably derailed due to the “lateral misalignment of the track”.

According to the ATSB, the Australian Rail Track Corporation’s systems for managing track lateral stability did not lead to the location being managed as a point of vulnerability.

The ARTC later advised that its Track Stability Management Plan for the section containing Creighton had been reviewed.

As a result, the 2019/20 TSMP included Stress Free Temperature testing at several sites, including the Creighton derailment site. “It is important for rail infrastructure managers to have systems in place to identify track sections vulnerable to lateral instability during the summer period,” the ATSB stated.