THREE people sustained minor injuries when a passenger train entered a siding loop near Gunnedah at twice the maximum track speed, after the train driver missed a signal to slow down.
A report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, revealed on June 10, an Xplore train operating between Werris Creek and Moree, passed a signal set to "Caution", indicating the next signal could be "Stop".
However, the driver didn't see the signal and continued at the normal speed.
By the time the driver saw the next signal and realised it was set to "Stop", there was insufficient distance to stop the train before crossing the points that transition the train into the Whitehaven Coal loop.
The driver initiated an emergency brake application, but the train entered the loop siding at approximately 110km/h, exceeding the maximum track speed of 50km/h.
Three people were injured, with a passenger and crew member struck by flying objects, while another crew member was thrown from their seat, striking their head. The train stopped approximately 400 metres into the coal loop.
The investigation determined the driver's vision of the signals was likely impaired due to reflection of the sun reflecting off the side of stainless steel coal wagons parked first signal.
ATSB said the safety message from the investigation was a remind to all drivers of the importance of operating to the conditions.