In response to this safety issue, the Australian Rail Track Corporation have responded:
The vegetation is located on private property, the fence is approximately 1.2 metre high chain mesh. Even if removed the increase in sighting distance would be minimal.
The precursor to the incident – over speed operation for the available sighting distance (speed at point of impact 22 km/h) clearly indicates that achieving a minimal increase in sighting distance would not have prevented the collision.
The ATSB considers greater proactive action should be taken by the ARTC to resolve this safety issue. While the ATSB acknowledges ARTC’s viewpoint that the collision was ‘over speed operation for the available sighting distance’, the removal of vegetation and other obstructions to sighting may have allowed the more timely recognition of the train ahead (2MP1) by the driver of 2MP9 and may have prevented the collision or reduced the extent of damage sustained.