Railroad worker moved to safety after train collided with service vehicle

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A hi-rail vehicle on the right was badly damaged after colliding with a train near Milton, southern Otago, in April 2020.

KiwiRail / TAIC

A hi-rail vehicle on the right was badly damaged after colliding with a train near Milton, southern Otago, in April 2020.

A railroad maintenance truck was on a track when a worker heard a horn and a rapidly approaching train.

Train 932 struck the hi-rail vehicle, used to check the condition of the tracks, at 44 km / h, pushing it nearly 140 meters until it came to a stop.

Details of the crash, which took place between Milton and Henley in southern Otago on the afternoon of April 24, 2020, were revealed in a report from the Transportation Accident Commission .

The driver of the hi-rail truck, who was in the rear of the vehicle, attempted to lift its wheels but was unsuccessful and had to jump aside.

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The train driver, who had honked the horn as a warning, applied “full service braking” and prepared for impact.

The hi-rail vehicle was significantly damaged, while the locomotive was relatively unharmed.

Close-up of the damage between the hi-rail vehicle and the locomotive.

KiwiRail / TAIC

Close-up of the damage between the hi-rail vehicle and the locomotive.

No one was hurt.

The report indicates that the track warrant control rules allow the train controller to issue a track warrant to a rail-road vehicle operator subject to the departure of a train.

The worker did not verify that train 932 had passed before placing the hi-rail vehicle on the track, and the report indicated that lives could be lost if the location of the trains was not confirmed.

He also concluded that the collision speed could have been reduced if the train driver had applied emergency braking – which results in a shorter stopping distance – rather than full service braking.


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