A FRIEGHT train travelling form Brisbane to Port Kembla damaged passenger platforms at five stations with an out-of-gauge wagon in June last year, according to a report from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

On the morning of 15 June, a forklift unloaded wagon RKOX4055Y at BlueScope Steel’s Coopers Plains facility. Security camera footage showed a corner of the wagon lifting during the unloading process before dropping back down.

When unloading was complete, the wagon was attached to another 52 wagons to form Pacific National train 2BW4 bound for Port Kembla. Before it departed, the train underwent a full examination and a roll-by inspection, with no abnormalities detected.

At about 0430 the following morning, station staff at Grafton discovered damage to the station’s platform. There was then another roll-by inspection of the train, with no faults identified, and the train continued on its journey.

Shortly before 1100, workers at Dungog station noticed a wagon on the train contact the platform. The train was then directed to stop at Wallarobba, where the wagon body on RKOX4055Y was found to have dislodged and was resting on the bogie.

Wagon-contact damage was also discovered on platforms at Coffs Harbour, Taree and Wingham.

The ATSB’s investigation found that during the unloading of the wagon, the wagon body was likely lifted off the centre pin and dislodged as the load became stuck. The forklift operators did not notice the wagon body had lifted and continued unloading other wagons.

A statement from the ATSB said its investigation highlights that procedures and practices for loading and unloading rolling stock must ensure risks are identified and controlled, and that the practices do not affect the safe operation of rolling stock.

“Further, maintenance inspection regimes must be completed in accordance with engineering practices to identify conditions that might contribute to accidents,” the statement said. “Following the occurrence, both BlueScope Steel and Pacific National completed several safety actions directed at preventing a reoccurrence.”