A REPORT on the Melbourne-to-Sydney rail line is finished but the public won’t see it for at least another month.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau report was to be released last month – six months after it was first due.
“The report’s out for public comment from those directly involved parties who have a stake in this,” a bureau spokesman said yesterday.
“It should be released in the second quarter.”
A preliminary report has revealed inconsistent speed limits on damaged sections of the line could pose a safety risk.
Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese ordered the inquiry in August, 2011.
It was prompted by a series of incidents on the line, including one where a controller switched a Border-bound V/Line train and 300 people onto a closed track.
Investigators have examined safety issues and the quality of the $750 million of work on the line.
The member for Indi, Sophie Mirabella, this month said she was eagerly anticipating the findings.
She said the “whole sorry saga” demonstrated the federal government’s incompetence whereas, she said, the Victorian government had done everything in its power to return V/Line services to the North East.
The bureau spokesman said copies of the final report had gone to “operators, owners, speculators and investors” connected to the project of relaying the track.
He would not identify these organisations and did not know how long they had to study the report and comment on it before it was made available to the public.
The early investigation involved discussions with train drivers, who highlighted the potential for confusion.
That was because multiple speed limits promoted a “high density” of warning signs, a situation exacerbated by differences between NSW and Victoria.
Problems with the line have drastically affected V/Line services from Albury-Wodonga to Melbourne, with buses regularly replacing trains.