The Coal Trader

Firefighters control grassfire sparked by coal train derailment in NSW

New South Wales firefighters have controlled a grass fire that was sparked from a coal train that derailed on Wednesday. Twenty-six carriages of an empty coal train derailed about 80 kilometres west of Muswellbrook in the Bylong Valley.

The crash sparked a grassfire that was controlled on Sunday after burning nearly 40 hectares. Nine local brigades and a water-bombing aircraft were deployed to fight the fire. Under the extreme heat of the past few days, the fire spread into steep terrain around the railway line.

A train next to a burnt paddock
An empty coal train derailed and sparked a grass fire near Mudgee on Wednesday.(Supplied: NSW RFS)

RFS Remote Area Firefighters and National Parks and Wildlife Service joined the effort, working with hand tools along the southern line of the fireground. A RFS spokesperson said there were still 10 fire fighters, including Remote Area Firefighters, and a water-bombing aircraft working to “mop up and black-out” the fire on Sunday afternoon.

“It is burning along a ridge line and in some slightly inaccessible terrain, hence the Remote Area Firefighters,” the spokesperson said.

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) said no one was injured but 26 wagons were derailed in the event. It said no time frame had been put on the reopening of the rail line. The office of National Rail Safety Regulator and Office of Transport Investigation (NSW) will investigate the incident.

Smoke hanging over a charred field
Nearly 40 hectares were burnt before the fire was brought under control.(Supplied: NSW RFS)