National

Vic train derailment - the key facts

By AAP Newswire

THE XPT TRAIN DERAILMENT - WHAT HAPPENED?

* The XPT train travelling from Sydney derailed near Wallan, 45km north of Melbourne, just before 7.45pm.

* Two people were killed including the driver, a 54 year old male from the ACT, and the pilot of the train, a 49-year-old woman from Castlemaine in Victoria. Both were in the driver's carriage.

* A male passenger in his 60s was taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital in a stable condition.

* Seven people were taken to the Northern Hospital and three to Kilmore Hospital.

WHO WAS IN CHARGE?

* The federal government-owned Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) manages and operates the track where the derailment happened and is understood to be responsible for the signalling.

THE LATEST

* Authorities will investigate whether the train was speeding to make up time.

* Australian Transport Safety Bureau commissioner Greg Hood said a preliminary investigation would be conducted within 30 days.

* The train is on its side and has fallen into pine trees that line the tracks near Wallan station. The carriages behind are buckled and leaning in opposite directions.

* Rails and sleepers have been ripped up and the line will be closed for days.

* Police are confident the scene has been cleared of passengers and staff, but are still working to confirm passenger numbers, with 20 remaining unaccounted for.

WHO SAID WHAT?

* The Rail, Tram and Bus Union said some V/Line train drivers refused to travel on that section of the track as it has been awaiting maintenance. V/Line does not manage this track section.

* The rail union and Victorian National MP Steph Ryan said safety concerns about the track had been raised for some time.

* Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said "no authority in Australia would allow a train to travel on an unsafe track".

* NSW Regional Transport Minister Paul Toole said he was not aware of any concerns about the condition of the track.

BEFORE THE DERAILMENT

* The train was running more than an hour behind schedule when it derailed.

* The train left Central Station in Sydney at 7.40am and was scheduled to arrive at Southern Cross Station in Melbourne at 6.30pm.

* 160 passengers and crew were on board the train at the time of the derailment.