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Train driver emailed concerns weeks before being killed in XPT derailment

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The wreckage of the XPT train which derailed in Victoria is due to cleared and moved this week, as investigations into the fatal crash continue.

The Australian Rail Track Corporation has taken control of the site at Wallan, where two rail employees were killed and multiple others injured.

Train driver John Kennedy was killed in the crash, just weeks after emailing a friend about his safety concerns with the Sydney to Melbourne line.

Rail, Tram and Bus Union New South Wales Secretary Alex Claassens worked with Mr Kennedy and tells Alan Jones his colleague’s concerns are widespread.

“There’ve been hundreds of emails from people to friends complaining exactly about all of those issues.

“It’s well known the ARTC is considered a goat track because it’s allowed to make its own rules.”

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Federal Infrastructure Minister Michael McCormack has been heavily criticised over his response to the incident.

There are claims the government denied requests to prioritise an upgrade of the track.

The Deputy Prime Minister has released a statement saying “it is too early to speculate on the cause” of the crash.

Full statement from Michael McCormack:

“The Australian Rail Track Corporation is working closely with Transport for NSW, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator and New South Wales and Victorian authorities as investigations into the cause of Thursday evening’s derailment continue.

“This was a tragic incident which has claimed two lives. The Australian Government wants to get the answers to what caused this accident for the families of the Train Driver and the Train Pilot as well as the many passengers who are seeking to understand what happened.

“This is a complex and ongoing investigation and it is too early to speculate on the cause or contributing factors.

“The community rightfully want answers and to understand what has occurred and the investigation will look at all the potential factors.

“If anyone has information relevant to the investigation, they are encouraged to contact the investigating authorities.

“It is appropriate to now await the outcome of the investigation without prejudice and respond in due course.”