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A PLAN to fix train doors has not been developed more than a year after the issue was raised, the transport safety regulator says.
Transport Safety Victoria has placed a condition on train operator Metro's accreditation: repair the doors on 96 Comeng trains from 2017 when the first train reaches the 35-year life expectancy or replace them.
It comes after TSV issued a safety notice to the Transport Department in September last year requiring the doors be fixed as they can be opened while the train is moving.
The issue was also highlighted in a scathing Ombudsman's report tabled in Parliament yesterday, which told how the City Loop was a ticking time bomb and blasted Transport Department officials who got seven reports over 11 years but taken "little effective action" to fix problems.
TSV acting director rail safety Andrew Doery said the regulator wanted a "funded, committed plan" to fix the problem, estimated by Metro to cost $12.9 million.
"We've seen no program to rectify the doors," Mr Doery said.
Opposition transport spokeswoman Fiona Richardson said the failure to order the 54 trains called for in Metro's strategic operations plan meant TSV had to force the Government to fix unsafe doors and called on Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder to ensure commuters' safety.
"The Minister was either too weak or too incompetent to ensure that the budget provided for the purchase of additional trains and now commuters are paying the price," she said.
Metro and Mr Mulder said the trains were safe and issues only happened when people boarded as doors closed or forced them open.
"We are currently working closely with TSV and Public Transport Victoria to find a solution," Metro spokesman Daniel Hoare said.
Mr Mulder said: "Passengers must act responsibly and not try to board any train when the train driver is closing the doors, or force open the doors."
PTV spokesman David Stockman said it was not anticipated the life of the Comeng trains would be extended.
Acting ombudsman John Taylor's report came after a whistleblower alleged the Loop's emergency tunnels were in poor condition, it had no anti-terrorism plan, Flinders St Station lacked an effective fire plan, drivers lacked safety skills and under-reported near misses and the rail operator diverted safety funding.
Mr Taylor said PTV had implemented a comprehensive works plan to fix problems highlighted.
Metro chief executive Andrew Lezala said the rail network was safe and most maintenance work was expected to be finished by December.
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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