Friend of train driver says he raised concerns about poorly maintained rail network

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Exclusive: The driver of the Sydney-to-Melbourne train which derailed had emailed his friend with concerns about the safety of the line in the weeks leading up to the deadly crash | AnnaPattySMH

" last six Melbourne return trips have been very late or cancelled mainly due to train fault issues, 3 of the six runs I was down to one engine, on another trip I had no speedo and the only trip without a train fault was disrupted by the big derailment last week," Mr Kennedy's email sent to Mr Williams read.

Describing the Sydney to Melbourne line as a poorly maintained "goat track", the Rail, Tram and Bus Union said the derailment may have been avoided if the XPT had been operating under Victorian rules, instead of national.Victorian rail operator V/Line and Metro Trains Melbourne impose an automatic speed restriction of 25km/h along dangerous areas of track that require a driver to be navigated by a co-driver, called a pilot.

The RTBU said rules set by the national authority, the Australian Rail Track Corporation had removed the first line of defence against the accident.RTBU Victoria secretary Luba Grigorovitch said "if the ARTC imposed the same speed restrictions under pilot that are applied by MTM and V/Line the incident may have been avoided".

A rail insider said if the train was operating at 25km/h along the Wallan loop line, the worst case scenario would have seen the train "hit the dirt and we would have had a couple of bruises and bumped heads". "Regardless of the signal fault, the human factors, the weather or whatever, that would have controlled that situation adequately," the insider said.


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AnnaPattySMH Australia is a 3rd world country when it comes to Rail

AnnaPattySMH De fund it, run it into the ground, complain about tax payer costs, unaccountability etc. Inevitable accidents occur, complain more, poorly run public transport {or insert public service here} then sell off to the private sector for a surplus budget result, claim fiscal fortitude

AnnaPattySMH So he potentially knew there was an issue. Why then did he choose to have the train racing at such high speed and subsequently kill himself and one other?

AnnaPattySMH The fact that the train required a pilot in the first place is a concern. A pilot is typically only allocated to a train for a section of track that has some kind of significant fault.

AnnaPattySMH Class action?

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