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Fourteen more unprotected rail crossings in country Victoria will get a safety boost by April, in efforts to avoid another serious crash involving a train and road vehicle.
Government corporation VicTrack last week called for bidders to submit tenders to upgrade 12 sites on the V/Line network, in the wake of a collision between a truck and a Warrnambool-bound train carrying 99 passengers west of Colac, which injured 18 people.
Emergency services help passengers off the V-Line train. Photo: Amy Paton/Warrnambool Standard
The work will include the installation of boom gates at 10 level crossings and four pedestrian crossings on the Seymour and Albury lines in north-east Victoria.
A VicTrack spokesman said the crossings had been selected because they had been "identified as having specific risk factors" in a statewide safety ranking of every crossing in Victoria.
There are about 700 unprotected rail crossings in regional Victoria, of which 52 road crossings and 25 pedestrian crossings will be improved as part of the Safer Country Crossings project.
The latest call for tenders follows criticism about the length of time it has taken to complete the country crossing works.
The Pirron Yallock crossing, where a truck and a V/Line train collided on July 13, is due for an upgrade as part of the program. The Andrews government said in February last year that work to fix it had been "fast-tracked".
The Phalps Road level crossing, where the smash happened. Photo: Google Maps
The VicTrack spokesman said the call for tenders for the latest round of crossing upgrades had been finalised in late May and its timing had nothing to do with the smash at Pirron Yallock.
Meanwhile, new images of the crash aftermath have emerged that show how close the V/Line train driver came to being killed, after his cabin was caved in by the impact.
This article first appeared on www.theage.com.au
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