Investigators search the wreck of a train that suddenly derailed by killing two people and injuring 11 others – while speed, signals and track maintenance are thoroughly investigated
- Canberra man John Kennedy has been named as the driver of the train
- He died alongside the pilot of the train – 11 passengers were also injured in the crash
- Speed of the carriage, maintenance of the train and the investigated railway line
The driver who died in a horrible derailment between Melbourne and Sydney has been named as the 54-year-old John Kennedy (photo) from Canberra
Investigators sift through the wreck of a train derailment that killed the driver and pilot north of Melbourne.
John Kennedy, Canberra man, has been named as the driver of the XPT diesel locomotive that traveled from Sydney to Melbourne before this Thursday night derailed in Wallan.
The 54-year-old died alongside the pilot of the train, a 49-year-old man from Castlemaine in Victoria. Eleven of the 160 passengers on the train were also injured.
Speed is one of the factors being looked at after it was reported that the train had to slow down to 15 km / h because it was diverted by another part of the track near the Wallan station.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau looks at the maintenance of the train and the railway line and at signaling data.
Some passengers from the XPT have said it drove too fast when it derailed.
A man from Sydney described “holding on to grim death” when the train came off the track.
“It probably went about 150 meters before it stopped, there were carriages aside – pretty horrible,” he said.
Passenger Leyon Gray estimated that the train “probably ran at 80 or 90 km / h” before everyone was thrown out of their seats.
Some passengers also claimed that there was an announcement on board that the driver tried to make up for lost time before the crash. The police would not confirm this.
The Rail, Tram and Bus Union said that the train came off a stretch of track awaiting maintenance.
“The circumstances have changed and V / Line drivers have rightly refused to cross this section in the past week,” said Secretary Luba Grigorovitch.
The Deputy Leader of the Victorian nationals, Steph Ryan, expressed concern about the railroad with the state government days before the crash and after another train was later derailed in the line.
Authorities remain on the scene of a fatal derailment of an XPT train north of Melbourne
Kennedy died with another male pilot on Thursday evening when his train crashed on his way to Southern Cross Station in Victoria (photo)
But Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack was unaware of driver complaints about the safety of the track section.
“No authority would let passengers travel on unsafe roads,” he told reporters on the spot.
“We will ensure that the right answers are found for the relatives and that these things no longer happen.”
It is expected that it will take days to clear the tracks, with buses set up to replace all train services from Seymour, Shepparton and Albury until further notice.
The transport safety agency will publish a preliminary report on the crash in about a month, prior to a final report in 18 months.
The transport safety agency will publish a preliminary report on the crash in about a month, prior to a final report in 18 months