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The ATSB has found that a fatal collision between The Overland passenger train and tip truck towing a tri-axle trailer occurred because the truck driver probably did not see the train and entered the level crossing after braking too late to stop at the 'Stop' sign.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has today released its final report on the investigation of the collision which occurred at the Barpinba-Poorneet Road level crossing, near Wingeel in southern Victoria, on 15 November 2006.

At the time of the accident the crossing was controlled by passive 'Stop' signs and approach warning signs. The investigation established that the truck did not come to a halt at the 'Stop' sign controlling the crossing and concluded that the driver was possibly distracted by the presence of the road-junction ahead. The truck driver was probably unaware of the presence of the train until just before the collision.

The investigation also found that the viewing angle in the direction from which the train approached the crossing was poor. When coupled with the restricted visibility from the truck's cab, it would have been difficult for the truck driver to see the train without coming to a complete stop at the crossing. The investigation also found that when approaching the crossing from the south-west the advance warning signs did not comply with the operative Australian Standard AS 1742.7: Manual of uniform traffic control devices - Railway crossings.

The investigation established that in the circumstances there was nothing that the train crew could have done to prevent the accident.

In the interest of enhancing future road/rail safety the ATSB has made a series of recommendations to address safety issues including the poor viewing angle at the crossing and the non-compliance of the level crossing signage with the relevant standard.

Copies of the report can be downloaded from the ATSB's internet site at www.atsb.gov.au.

Media contact: 1800 020 616
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Last update 01 April 2011