Australia’s Pacific National says coal train derailed, no injuries

Australia has had a string of train derailments in recent months. (AFP pic)

MELBOURNE: Australian coal haulier Pacific National said on Thursday that one of its trains derailed the day before near the Hunter Valley in New South Wales state, and that some services would be affected while repair work was carried out.

The Hunter Valley is Australia’s top thermal coal-producing region and home to operations run by Yancoal, Glencore and Peabody Energy.

There were no injuries, Pacific National said in an e-mailed statement, adding that the train had derailed at 03.30 a.m. local time “at Baerami with the last six wagons coming off the tracks”.

Pacific National, which doesn’t operate automated driverless freight trains, didn’t immediately say how fast the train was travelling when it derailed.

“The regulator is currently onsite assessing the situation with the removal of the wagons and repairs to the track expected to commence after assessments have been completed,” the company said.

A Yancoal spokesman said that its Mudgee coal complex had been directly impacted by the train derailment but that it was too early to advise of any potential impact to customers, as it awaited confirmation of when haulage would restart.

A Glencore spokesman referred Reuters to Pacific National. Representatives from Peabody weren’t immediately available to comment.

The incident is Australia’s third freight train derailment in as many months.

BHP Group forced a train off its tracks in November after it ran away without its driver en route to the north western iron ore export hub of Port Hedland.

In December, around 30 wagons in an empty iron ore train derailed, around 700km east of Perth, after poor weather eroded part of the track.