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Investigations under way into freight train derailment near Alcoa’s Wagerup Refinery in South West

Headshot of Sean Van Der Wielen
Sean Van Der WielenHarvey-Waroona Reporter
A freight train derailed close to Alcoa's Wagerup alumina refinery earlier this week.
Camera IconA freight train derailed close to Alcoa's Wagerup alumina refinery earlier this week. Credit: Sean Van Der Wielen/Harvey-Waroona Reporter

Investigations are underway into the cause of a train derailment near Alcoa’s operation in the South West earlier this week but the company is downplaying the incident’s impact on its operations.

An Aurizon freight train derailed at about 1pm on Sunday on the Yalup Brook loop — which services Alcoa’s Wagerup alumina refinery — 10km south of Waroona.

The force of the derailment caused the engine to come off the tracks completely, along with at least two carriages carrying alumina, the material used for manufacturing aluminium.

Crews were at the site on Tuesday afternoon and the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator has started an investigation into the incident.

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An Alcoa spokesperson said the locomotive and its wagons were departing the refinery for Bunbury Port when the derailment occurred. No one was injured in the incident.

“There has been no impact on public rail or road networks,” they said.

“The impact on our operation has been minimal.”

A spokesperson for freight hauler Aurizon said the derailment had occurred at “slow speed”.

“A small number of bogies derailed and there was no disruption to rail traffic on the main (South West Western Australia) line,” they said.

“The recovery is currently under way.”

The incident happened within sections of the rail line operated by Alcoa within its refinery footprint.

Alcoa said the incident had been reported to regulators including the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety and the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator.

“Alcoa is working with these authorities and rail operator Aurizon to investigate the matter and clear the site,” a company spokesperson said.

The Wagerup refinery is one of three in Western Australia operated by Alcoa, which collectively produce about 45 per cent of Australia’s alumina production.

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