Sydney train drama 'like a mad explosion'

Last updated 08:55 16/01/2014
Sydney train derailment
Tania Pires
NARROW ESCAPE: Shocked passengers survey a metal pole that pierced their carriage after a train derailed between Kings Cross and Edgecliff.
sydney train accident
Annie Dang/Fairfax
DANGER: A piece of metal protrudes through the carriage floor.

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Passengers on a Sydney train that derailed after a bar broke through the floor of a carriage say it was making loud noises and emitting burning smells from the time it left Bondi Junction.

Several hundred commuters had to be evacuated from Sydney trains after a metal bar speared through a train floor, causing it to derail near Edgecliff Station  last night.

Expat New Zealander, Kiriana Buffett, was standing at the spot and was almost hit by the metal.

"I just remember seeing it punch through the floor and then towards me - I don't know what happened next," said Buffett, who sat in shock for 20 minutes after the incident.

"Someone said it slowed down but I didn't see it go slow at any stage. I'm pretty lucky to be alive actually."

About 700 people were evacuated from the train at 5.30pm (7.30pm NZT) after two wheels came off the track near the station.

No one was injured in the derailment, and passengers were evacuated by police and rail staff to another train.

Buffett said they detected a burning smell from the moment they boarded the train.

"We all knew something was wrong from the beginning," she said.

"When we started moving there was really loud knocking all the way, and when we stopped at Edgecliff it was like a mad explosion. I saw it come through the floor, and when it came through the floor it just went over my head.

Hundreds of other commuters also had to be evacuated after their trains were trapped in the area because of the derailment.

Sydney Trains said the bar  was a piece of "metal channelling" attached to a concrete walkway near Edgecliff Station.

The Transport Management Centre (TMC) said train services on the impacted lines had resumed this morning.

"Trains on the T4 Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra Line have fully resumed between Martin Place and Bondi Junction after a train derailment at Edgecliff yesterday," the TMC said in a statement.

It said all services had resumed after "incident response crews from Sydney Trains worked overnight to get trains running again".

Sydney Trains chief executive officer Howard Collins said the driver noticed the eight-carriage train was sluggish before it stopped.

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