You wouldn't believe it!

Conscious of not being too negative in the reporting of events and happenings in the life of the Savannahlander, I was going to write an item about the access we can provide for Mobility impaired passengers. However, this will have to wait while we deal with another incident, highly likely to annoy the crew and passengers on the current trip.

To start things off, I will post an extract, written on 15 September, from one of the rail forums where some of the Savannahlander people occasionally lurk:

Stand-by Sav Crews. PV 6 is back out this week:

Today – PSM – AAD
Tue – AAD – MSR
Wed – MSR – FOY
Thu – FOY – AAD (x5C99 MSR)
Fri – AAD – CNS

Any bets on where it will derail this time around, and how long the delay will be?

Hmmmm, yes, prophetic words indeed. To Explain:

PV 6″ is this strange rail vehicle :

It is used to record track profile and defects. The post above notes that it will be running ahead of the Savannahlander on the Etheridge branch.

This makes us nervous.

On the three previous occasions it has been out on the line, it has managed to derail twice. And this year, we have had other track maintenance machines derail in the section ahead of the train twice! (As reported below)

So it has come to pass the prophesy of doom in the form of another derailment has been fulfilled. Today, PV 6 went in the dirt just short of  Forsayth, not having quite completed its trip. On the question of the bets as to where and for how long, one of the respondents was accurate to within 5 km of the location. The length of time it will be in the way is not yet known, as it is still in the dirt as this is written. We’ll update this blog as progess is made!

I will not speculate on the cause of the derailment, but there are those who suggest track defects (yes there is an irony there), but it is important to point out that this does not necessarily make the track unsafe for our train to travel on. A major track rehabilitation project is underway and this incident has occured on the last few remaining kilometres that have not been yet been re-sleepered. Also, the rigid wheel base of the little machine makes it less inclined to stay on the tracks when the going gets rough, as compared to the superb bogies that the railmotors ride on.

But for now, it looks like the this weeks train will again terminate at Turkey Flat.