My thoughts today are with the families and friends of the train driver and pilot of the NSW Trainlink XPT interstate passenger service who lost their lives in last night’s train derailment at Wallan, and with those who were injured and distressed by this accident.
The XPT between Sydney and Melbourne provides Indi communities on the Border and at Wangaratta and Benalla with a vital, twice-daily passenger service.
A major upgrade is getting underway, with $235 million to be spent on ballast depth improvements to the rail corridor, removal of mud-holes and track resurfacing, drainage works, and enhancements to level crossing and rail bridges.
But the track has been plagued with troubles and I’m concerned by reports that V/Line drivers had refused for a week to drive the section where the derailment occurred.
Services on the line have been suspended while a coronial and transport safety investigation takes place.
I have also sought information from Australian Rail Track Corporation about when services might be scheduled to run again.
[February 21, 2020]