Train 'slid' into station toilets

Last updated 14:23 20/12/2013

On January 31, 2013 a passenger train smashed into a platform at a suburban Brisbane station, injuring 14 people.

Brisbane train derailment
Bayside Bulletin Zoom
The extent of the damage to the train can be seen as it is pulled out of the Brisbane station.

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A slippery substance on the tracks most likely caused a suburban passenger train to plough into a Brisbane station, according to a safety probe.

Fifteen people were on the train and four people were waiting on the platform of Cleveland station when the train ploughed into the station house on January 31, all but destroying the toilets.

Several people were injured.

An Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) investigation found that local environmental conditions had resulted in the formation of a slippery substance on the tracks.

"This caused poor adhesion at the contact point between the train's wheels and the rail head," an ATSB report released today said.

"The braking effectiveness of train T842 was reduced as a result of reduced adhesion and the train was unable to stop before hitting the end-of-line buffer stop."

The ATSB also said that at the time of accident Queensland Rail didn't have a proper process to assess and manage the risk of operating trains on its network when tracks were slippery.

The report said Queensland Rail had not adequately prepared or practised responses to emergency incidents, which resulted in miscommunications between key personnel after the crash.

Queensland Rail has since implemented risk controls including identifying black spot locations, removing vegetation near railways and treating rail contaminants.

The operators have also provided more training to drivers about how to deal with wheel slide and trialling track sanding equipment on the model of train involved in the crash.

Queensland Rail is also doing regular emergency exercises to better prepare staff to respond to similar incidents.

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