A runaway freight train travelled 56 miles with no driver after maintenance workers mistakenly applied brakes to the wrong locomotive, an investigation has found.
The crash south of Port Hedland on 5 November destroyed two locomotives, 245 freight cars, and 1.2 miles of track. No one was hurt.
The accident began after communication was lost between the front locomotive and a monitor at the rear, according to a preliminary investigation report published by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB).
This triggered an automated emergency brake, causing the train to stop. The driver also applied an independent brake and exited the cab to manually apply handbrakes to the train’s 268 ore cars, while awaiting assistance from an emergency ground crew, the regulator said.
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Story by: Chris Barnes, Independent