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Signal failure implicated in fatal Glenbrook collision

  Thursday, December 2, 1999
Signal failure may be implicated in the collision between a commuter train and the Indian Pacific
express in Australia's Blue Mountains earlier today.

Passengers aboard the Indian Pacific report that the train's conductor had announced that there was a signal failure just moments before impact.

The accident occurred at 08:30 on Thursday morning when the commuter train collided with the rear of the Indian Pacific tourist train at Glenbrook in the Blue Mountains. The Sydney-bound Indian Pacific is thought to have been stationary or moving very slowly at the time. The bi-level local train, crowded with commuters was travelling in the same direction. It had started its journey at Lithgow.

The number of casualties from the accident is unclear. The official death toll has been put at 5 and 4 bodies have so far been recovered. The New South Wales premier, Bob Carr has suggested that as many as 12 my have been killed. All those who died were in the front carriage of the commuter train. Up to 65 people were injured.

One hundred and fifty nine people were travelling in the Indian Pacific and 330 people are thought to have been in the local train.

Rescue workers have faced considerable difficulties in cutting through the wreckage of the aluminium bodied carriage which has the rear car, a motor vehicle transporter embedded in it. According to reports, oxy-acetylene cutting torches cannot be used and the decision has been made to tear the two vehicles apart by attaching a locomotive each of them.

This is the worst rail accident in Australia since 1977 when 83 people were killed in an accident at Granville insydney. In this incident, another commuter train from the Blue Mountains became derailed and crashed into the support pylons of a bridge bringing it down on top of the train.

The Indian Pacific was involved in another collision earlier this year at Zanthus in Western Australia. Forty five people were injured when it collided with the rear of a freight train.
Join the discussion about the Glenbrook accident

Web sources:
Rescuers recover two bodies from crash
Excite News 02 Dec 1999
Up to 12 die in Australian train crash
Go News 02 Dec 1999
Rescue workers face problems retrieving bodies
ABC News 02 Dec 1999
At least six dead in train crash 02 Dec 1999
Death toll expected to rise in Blue Mountains train crash
ABC News Online 02 Dec 1999
Six Dead, 50 Injured After Two Trains Collide in Mountains Near Sydney
Bloomburgh 02 Dec 1999
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This file last updated: Thursday, 02-Dec-1999 21:20:16 EST
Copyright © David Fry 1999

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