Investigation underway after freight train derailment at Bethungra Rail Spiral in Riverina | The Daily Advertiser

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An investigation has been opened after a freight train derailed as it crossed the Riverina in the early hours of Saturday morning. The Brisbane-bound train derailed at the heritage-listed Bethungra Rail Spiral between Cootamundra and Junee at around 3.40am. Emergency services were called to the scene where at least ten cars had left the track, but no injuries were reported. According to the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), an independent body has been called in to investigate the cause of the accident and repair crews are ready to begin work once the investigation is complete. ARTC advised that the northbound track was damaged, but the southbound track is fully operational for trains traveling in both directions. The company said there is no current forecast for when repairs will be completed and full service will resume. Dean Masters, a resident of Bethungra, said it appeared the forward carriages of the train escaped unscathed while the rearward carriages derailed. “The very front of the aft section was extremely badly damaged,” he said. “The containers had been torn from the wagons and some had been crushed. The rest of the wagons themselves were badly damaged, with wheels, axles and bogies ending up a considerable distance from the wagons. Mr Masters said the wagons derailed also appeared to have come very close to falling off the edge of the spiral and returning to the lower part of the track.An update on the investigation is expected to be released on Sunday.Our reporters are working hard to provide up-to-date, local news Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content: