Effects of Pirron Yallock crash continue one year on

The damaged train off its tracks at Pirron Yallock. Picture: Amy Paton
The damaged train off its tracks at Pirron Yallock. Picture: Amy Paton

A year ago, images of a Warrnambool-bound train derailing after colliding with a truck near Colac shocked the south-west community.

In the initial aftermath, people were surprised and thankful no one was killed.

Police said passengers on the train should purchase Tattslotto tickets.

When it emerged the level crossing where the crash occurred had been earmarked for an upgrade, the work was promptly completed in mid-August.

Focus soon turned to the number of similar crossings on the line, and The Standard found more than a third of the 94 level crossings between Geelong and Warrnambool were only fitted with give way or stop signs.

Transport Safety Victoria data also showed there had been three collisions and 26 near misses at level crossings between Colac and Warrnambool over the previous five years.

A V/Line spokeswoman said the incident at Pirron Yallock had been extremely traumatic.

“The welfare of our staff and passengers is something we take very seriously and we provided support and assistance to the those involved following the incident,” she said.

“Five level crossings on the Warrnambool line have been upgraded from passive to active over the past year, improving safety.”

The crash prompted safety speed restrictions to be introduced around level crossings, which led to plummeting punctuality rates on the Warrnambool line.

In February, the state government announced a $10 million package of works to upgrade 20 level crossings on the line, due for completion by the end of the year.

The truck driver involved in the crash faced court in April and received a fine.

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It's been a year since a Warrnambool-bound train collided with a truck at a level crossing near Colac