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Racegoers making their way home from Derby Day were stranded in a train for 40 minutes, with some forced to jump off in panic, a passenger has claimed.
Jan MacLeod, 73, said she and her husband, Jeff, 76, had taken the 6.10pm train from Flemington to the city on Saturday when it suddenly stopped five minutes into the journey with passengers "packed in like sardines".
"We were stranded for 40 minutes, with an announcement 10 minutes after we stopped that we would soon be moving," Ms MacLeod said.
"Everyone was panicking. It was getting hotter and hotter because there were so many people there.
"Thirty minutes later ... people started forcing the doors open and jumping or falling off on a dangerous incline.
"One fellow fell in between the carriages. Someone could have been badly injured."
Ms MacLeod said she would never take public transport home from the races again.
"It was a pretty horrific end to the day," she said.
"All this could have been avoided if we were kept informed. This situation must not happen again."
Metro spokesman Marcus Williams said the trains were stopped due to the combined issue of a fault and trespassers on the tracks.
Mr Williams apologised to the passengers, but said they had been kept well informed about the delay.
"We ... understand how frustrating this was," he said.
"At around 6.20pm a city-bound train from Flemington experienced a fault and stopped safely between Newmarket and Kensington stations.
"Separately, Victoria Police reported a trespasser near tracks between Showgrounds and Newmarket stations a few minutes later. This was followed by reports of two further trespassers and all trains on the Flemington line were stopped for safety reasons while Victoria Police attended."
Mr Williams said the train fault was resolved quickly and all trains on the line resumed after Victoria Police gave clearance to run at reduced speed about 6.50pm. Clearance to resume normal line speed was granted at 7.45pm.
"We communicated to passengers through all available channels including train and station announcements from drivers and station staff, as well as remotely from the control centre, our website, twitter and the metroNotify app," Mr Williams said.
"We've had feedback that some passengers found it difficult to hear announcements on busy trains and platforms and understand this was a challenge.
"Passengers were advised not to disembark from trains stopped between platforms for safety reasons, although we received reports of this occurring."
This article first appeared on www.theage.com.au
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