Answers over Melbourne XPT derailment could be months away

The XPT derailed minutes after leaving Southern Cross Station.
The XPT derailed minutes after leaving Southern Cross Station.

IT could take until early next year to determine the cause of a Melbourne train derailment that left Border travellers stranded for hours.

Passengers on the CountryLink’s Melbourne to Sydney service did not get to Albury last Friday until 4pm — four hours after the scheduled arrival time.

No one was injured in the derailment, which happened between the Southern Cross and North Melbourne stations at 8.35am.

Two carriages on the train — which was carrying 180 passengers — left the track.

Coaches will replace the XPT for the stretch between Southern Cross and Broadmeadows stations from today until further notice.

These coaches will leave 60 minutes earlier than the normal departure times.

The XPT will run as normal between Broadmeadows and Sydney via Albury.

An investigation into the incident was launched immediately by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

The bureau said yesterday that the train sustained minor damage.

It said the investigation was not expected to be completed before next April.

The investigation states that, while V/Line operates the line on which the XPT was travelling, the train is operated by NSW Trains.

The destination for the train was Central Station in Sydney, but it managed to travel just three kilometres.

It took about two hours to evacuate passengers, who arrived on the Border by coach.

Friday’s incident continued to cause disruptions yesterday.

The 8.30am Melbourne to Sydney XPT service had to be replaced with a coach for the trip to Albury, where passengers were transferred to a train for the rest of their journey.

Likewise, the 7.32am XPT out of Sydney terminated in Albury, with the rest of the trip to Melbourne replaced by a bus.

The third service for the day — last night’s 7.50pm out of Southern Cross — had the same switch from a train to a coach in Albury.