REPAIRS estimated at well over $500,000 will need to be done to the Goulburn Loco Roundhouse on Braidwood Rd after the derailment at the site on June 30.
Goulburn Loco Roundhouse Preservation Society (GLRPS) secretary Colin Grose said up to 105 metres of track was ripped up, with three grain wagons smashing through the turntable gates, wrecking the operating cab. One of the wagons then tipped over into the turntable pit, sending the locking pin flying and severing the wagon’s brake lines, which eventually caused the train to come to a standstill.
He also revealed that there was no second driver to guide the engines back, which is contrary to comments by freight operator, Aurizon.
“The hoppers at the bottom of the wagons broke, spilling 100 tonnes of canola everywhere,” Mr Grose said.
“The whole site was an absolute mess.
Timbers that supported the turntable were significantly damaged. Fortunately though, we still have the rear of the turntable operating cab and a door so we can restore it to its original status. And to get the timber re-milled won’t be a problem - it’s all replaceable.”
As the roundhouse is classified as a heritage site, everything will be reconstructed to Heritage Council standards, which Mr Grose estimates could take up to six months or more.
There are also a number of heritage locomotives trapped, including Victorian S Class locomotive S312, belonging to commercial operator Rail Power which has been stabled at the facility for several weeks undergoing repairs and servicing.
Mr Grose said representatives from Aurizon and the ARTC will meet up with the insurance company this week to get a final cost estimate for repairs.
“We are a fairly significant part of Goulburn’s history, as Goulburn has always been a railway town, and we also contribute to the city’s tourism dollar,” he said.
“Therefore we are still open for business and running tours of the site.”
Accreditation for the site to run their locomotives and rolling stock has also been granted, which Mr Grose says is a ‘major step forward for the society.’ Several organisations are involved with ownership of the site, as the GLRPS only leases the property from the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC). The Heritage Council of NSW and Aurizon, the organisation responsible for the running of the train itself, are also party to the investigations.
An Aurizon spokesperson confirmed Mr Grose’s comments.
“Aurizon insurance advisors are currently assessing the quantum of damage to the roundhouse, and will work with the Heritage Group to effect repairs. The canola has also now been removed from the pit.”
An ARTC spokesperson said there were still some final assessments that needed to take place before the scale of the damage could be quantified.
“The roundhouse is a unique site with multiple parties and lease arrangements involved, so we will be working with them in terms of finalizing what works are required.”
Mr Grose told the Post the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) was also notified, and had classified the incident as ‘Class B’.
“This means that it will be left up to Aurizon and the NSW body who investigate derailments, the Office of Transport Safety Investigations (OTSI) to conduct internal investigations,” he said.