V/LINE has come under fire in a damning report issued as a result of an Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) investigation into an incident at a passing loop on the North East Service at Wallan.
The ATSB report, released last week, reveals that on July, 11 2015, the Melbourne to Albury service crossed the points into the loop at excessive speed - over 80km/h greater than the signalled speed.
As a result, the passengers and crew experienced a ‘rough ride’ resulting in some passengers requiring medical attention from the on board service crew and later by an ambulance team at Benalla.
The driver was on a final written warning at the time.
The on-board service crew reported the incident to V/Line operations and the train continued on to Seymour.
At Seymour, a Regional Driver Supervisor questioned the driver about the rough ride at Wallan and after a short discussion the train departed. It was not until the train reached Benalla that the driver was replaced and sent back to Melbourne in a taxi.
The ATSB found that the driver had not demonstrated effective train handling techniques when approaching a signal displaying a low speed aspect. As a result, 8625 traversed the points at a speed significantly greater than the allowable engineering speed.