A preliminary report has been released from an ongoing transport safety investigation into a collision between a passenger train and a truck at a level crossing near Bendigo, Victoria.
On the morning of 13 July 2022, a farmer unlocked and opened the gates of a passive level crossing (which was not available for public access), to allow a truck onto their property to collect hay.
A short time later, the truck arrived at the crossing, and proceeded onto it.
The driver of an approaching V/Line passenger train reported seeing the truck approach the crossing, and sounding the train’s horn.
When the truck did not stop, the train driver made an emergency brake application, and was in the process of turning their seat away when the collision occurred.
The truck driver was seriously injured in the collision, and the train driver sustained minor injuries. Fortunately, none of the passengers on-board the train were injured.
The leading car of the train was substantially damaged, with both of its bogies derailed. The accident also resulted in substantial damage to the track infrastructure and the truck.
An investigation by the Office of Chief Investigator, Transport Safety, which investigates rail occurrences in Victoria on behalf of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, is ongoing.
“This preliminary report has been released to provide the public and industry with the factual information established in the early evidence collection phase of our investigation,” Chief Investigator, Transport Safety Mark Smallwood said.
“The investigation is continuing and will include review and examination of the arrangements for the use of this level crossing, the operation of the truck and the train involved, and the configuration of the level crossing.”
A final report will be released at the conclusion of the investigation.
“However, should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify relevant parties so appropriate and timely safety action can be taken,” Mr Smallwood said.Last update 19 September 2022