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An Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) statement said the northbound freight train derailed south of Wodonga between Chiltern and Barnawartha about 5:40pm.
The 5:20pm V-Line Albury-to-Melbourne service travelling south on the adjacent track subsequently struck one of the freight train's wagons.
Police at the scene said it appeared the goods train had decoupled and those carriages ran unchecked before colliding with the rear of the passenger train.
Police said an investigation was underway to try and determine how the wagons became unhooked.
A CFA spokesperson said a number of the wagons were alight when emergency services arrived, and the flames sparked a grassfire.
The spokesperson said no dangerous goods were on board either of the trains and the fire was quickly brought under control.
Ambulance Victoria said paramedics were called to the scene but no-one was transported to hospital.
"Paramedics assessed 19 patients," a statement said. "There were no injuries."
Police said traffic on the Hume Freeway was partially closed during the incident.
All services on the train line have been suspended and the site has been quarantined for independent safety regulators and incident investigations.
"Our priority at this stage is to ensure the safety of the persons involved and assisting attending emergency authorities," the ARTC statement said.
"We will be providing further updates as they become available."
Police said it was "really, really lucky" that no-one was injured.
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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