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The Wendouree-bound passenger train, with a train driver, conductor and two passengers onboard, was unable to come to a stop at the Ballarat Railway Station, despite deploying emergency brakes just after 11:30pm on May 30.
A preliminary report from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has confirmed the driver began to brake early, almost 5 kilometres from Ballarat, because of the wet and windy conditions.
But even after applying the emergency brake more than 200 metres out from the station, the train failed to stop, coming to rest 600m past the intersection.
CCTV footage from the night shows three pedestrians crossing the intersection 49 seconds before the train ploughs through, destroying the heritage-listed, century-old gates.
"One second before the train passed through the crossing, the road traffic lights changed from showing a green indication to a flashing amber," the report states.
"However, the gates were still across the railway track, rather than protecting the crossing from road traffic, and were struck by the train."
A passenger standing near an exit door as the train approached Ballarat Railway Station sustained head, back, and leg injuries and was taken to hospital.
CCTV footage from the night shows three pedestrians crossing the intersection 49 seconds before the train.(ABC News)Performance issues with systemThe preliminary report does not provide detail about the cause of the crash, and the investigation into contributing factors and safety issues is still being examined.
"The ongoing investigation will examine a range of factors including operation and maintenance of VLocity sanders, track condition, dynamic performance of the braking system, train operation and performance," chief investigator Chris McKeown said in a statement.
But the ATSB has noted that testing after the accident found "performance issues" with the VLocity train's sanding system, which is deployed to improve friction between the wheels and track in wet conditions.
The report notes that the sanding system was activated twice in the lead up to the train's approach to Ballarat.
In a statement, a V/Line spokesman said they would "consider any advice [or] recommendations from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau very seriously."
Bombardier, the manufacturer, has conducted a fleet-wide test of its VLocity sanding systems in the wake of the accident.(AA Joe Castro)
"Alongside our own investigation, this report will identify steps to help prevent this type of incident from ever occurring again," the spokesman said.
Bombardier, the manufacturer, has conducted a fleet-wide test of its VLocity sanding systems in the wake of the accident; the ATSB said the company had "performed remedial action where required".
In a statement, Bombardier said it was working with authorities involved in the investigation.
"Our number one priority is the safety of our people, the drivers, passengers and the community," the spokesman said.
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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