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A BOTCHED contract saw Melbourne's Siemens trains begin services with brakes that did not work properly in wet weather.
The problem was discovered in early 2003 before the trains serviced passengers, the Herald Sun has reported.
The contract oversight was detailed in Freedom of Information documents obtained by the paper.
Melbourne's rail system was plunged into chaos earlier this year after brake failures. An investigation has found the original $500-million Siemens contract did not set minimum braking standards in wet conditions.
It also found:
Complaints from drivers were dismissed as "teething problems''; The trains started services in 2003 after theoretical tests by Siemens and a pedestrian crossing at Williamstown station was moved after a train overshot the platform in 2004.
Connex later took over Melbourne's rail network in 2004.
Former operator M Train wrote a letter to Siemens in April 2003, complaining of poor braking in the wet weather.
"In some cases drivers are reverting to the emergency brake in order to stop at stations without overshooting the platform,'' M Train wrote.
"This situation poses a significant safety risk and will not be tolerated.
"Our drivers have raised the issue during commissioning. However the claims were always along the lines that the trains were still being set up.''
State government rail officials, who received a copy of the letter, ordered the trains out of service until August that year.
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