NSW passenger and freight rail services face days of disruption after a train derailment outside Wagga on Thursday morning.
XPT services were replaced by buses between Melbourne and Junee as work began Thursday afternoon to remove five carriages and a locomotive from heavily damaged tracks at Bomen.
The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) a federal government owned corporation that manages most of the interstate rail network, has aimed to restore the tracks by the weekend.
The train's impact dislodged several concrete sleepers and pushed aside track ballast gravel, as well as bending a section of rails.
ARTC will hold the train's operator, Melbourne-based SCT Logistics, responsible for clearing the tracks.
SCT Logistics did not respond prior to publication to a request for comment.
The NSW government's Office of Transport Safety Investigations visited the incident scene on Thursday and reported it to the federal government's Australian Transport Safety Bureau, which has yet to decide whether to launch an investigation.
Part or all of XPT services through Wagga were replaced by buses on Thursday.
A Transport for NSW spokesperson said all NSW TrainLink services between Sydney and Melbourne would be being replaced by coaches until the line reopens.
"Where possible we are contacting existing tickets holders and advising them of the change to their service," the spokesperson said.
The train's two drivers have been described as "extremely lucky" after their freight service derailed north of Wagga early on Thursday morning.
NSW Ambulance district manager Eamonn Purcell said paramedics found a number of carriages had overturned.
"They found two occupants in the train, both males aged in their 30s, one male had a head laceration and the other had no injuries," Mr Purcell. said
"When our paramedics first got on scene it was quite spectacular with carriages all over the place and they didn't know what was really going on.
It took them some time to find the two occupants of the train, who had managed to get out by themselves. They were extremely lucky...it could have been more serious."
The freight train derailed at Bomen, blocking both tracks and ripping up rails.
Fire and Rescue NSW Regional South 3 Zone Commander Stewart Alexander said emergency services were called to the scene at about 2.50am near the Austrak yard and the former Dampier Street railway crossing.
"Both drivers or operators are OK. They were obviously shaken up but otherwise quite well," he said.
"I imagine there will be a significant investigation conducted as well as a major salvage operation to firstly remove the train and then fix the rail line.
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"We are just on scene making sure there are no significant oil or diesel spillages and also assessing the cargo that the train was carrying."
One locomotive and five carriages were involved in the incident, which has blocked off both rail lines and caused damage to at least one of the lines next to Brynes Road and left numerous carriages stranded on the section of track north of Teys abattoir and the disused Bomen Railway Station.
Mr Alexander said one of the rail lines was "well and truly buckled" as a result of the derailment.
An Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) spokesperson confirmed that the north-bound train derailed at Bomen at about 2.30am on Thursday
"A full assessment of site damage began at first-light this morning, before planning for the recovery of rail operations gets underway," the spokesperson said.
"Services are currently suspended on the Melbourne to Sydney interstate line between Bomen and Wagga. There is no current timeline for a resumption of services."
The derailment has also forced the suspension of passenger train services.
Transport for NSW said the 7.40am Sydney to Melbourne XPT service has been replaced by coach service for the entire journey.
The 8.40am Melbourne to Sydney XPT service has been replaced by coach service between Melbourne and Junee. Passengers will transfer to the XPT at Junee for the remainder of the journey.
Fire and Rescue NSW stated on social media that the train's cargo "is not hazardous and the train will be righted this morning".
Ambulance NSW and police also attended the incident.
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