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THE driver of a railway track maintenance truck leapt for his life as a train bore down upon him in central Victoria this morning.
Four people were injured and a fire broke out in the truck and front compartment of the train when the crash occurred, but the driver escaped unharmed.
The Melbourne-bound V/Line train carrying 129 passengers hit the Freight Australia track maintenance truck near Castlemaine and Elphinstone after 10am (AEST).
A V/Line spokesman said those injured were travelling on the Melbourne-bound train, which left Swan Hill at 7.30am (AEST) this morning.
Their injuries were minor, the spokesman said.
A Rural Ambulance Victoria spokesman confirmed the truck driver jumped from the vehicle before the collision and it was not necessary to take anyone to hospital after the crash.
Freight Australia, the company which operates the tracks and contracts out track maintenance, has launched an investigation into the accident.
A spokesman for the company said initial investigations suggested the maintenance truck driver went on to the track without the necessary approval.
"The investigation will centre on whether there was a breach of rules and protocol," he said.
Fire trucks called in from around the region had brought the blaze which broke out in the truck and the front compartment of the train, under control, a CFA spokesman said.
Melbourne services to and from Swan Hill and Bendigo were disrupted, with normal services expected to be operating this evening.
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