Victoria train crash: investigators to look into speed as possible factor in XPT derailment | World news
Investigators continue to sift through the wreck of the XPT train derailment that killed the driver and pilot north of Melbourne on Thursday night.
The 49-year-old pilot, from Castlemaine in regional Victoria, also died. Eleven of the 160 passengers were injured.
Speed is a factor being looked at, after it was reported the train was supposed to slow to 15km/h as it was diverted through a different part of track near Wallan station.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is looking at the maintenance of the train and railway line as well as signalling data.
Some passengers have said the train was speeding when it derailed.
“It probably went about 150 metres before it stopped,” he said. “There were carriages going sideways – pretty horrifying.”
Another passenger, Leyon Gray, estimated the train was “probably doing 80 or 90km/h” before everyone was thrown out of their seats.
Some passengers said there was an onboard announcement saying the driver was trying to make up for a lost time before the crash. Police would not confirm this.
The Rail, Tram and Bus Union said the the train came off a section of track awaiting maintenance.
“Conditions were altered and V/Line drivers rightly refused to traverse this section over the past week,” the union’s secretary, Luba Grigorovitch, said.
Days before the crash the Victorian Nationals’ deputy leader, Steph Ryan, raised concerns about the rail line with the state government after a train was derailed further up the line in January.
But the deputy prime minister, Michael McCormack, was not aware of complaints by drivers about the safety of the section of the track.
“No authority would let passengers travel on unsafe track,” he said at the accident site.
“We will ensure that proper answers are found for the bereaved families and making sure these sorts of things don’t happen again.”
It was expected it would be days before the tracks were cleared. Buses will replace all Seymour, Shepparton and Albury train services until further notice.