V/Line apologises as travellers helped off trains by SES crew

A serious train fault left Warrnambool line passengers stranded on Tuesday morning and had a knock-on effect on other services, with V/Line apologising for the incident.

A Warrnambool-bound train which left Melbourne at 7.23am came to a stop almost half a kilometre from Birregurra Station, which meant close to 60 passengers had to be helped off the train by SES crew and walk along tracks to the station.

A Terang woman who was on the train, Ebony Duffield, had her one-year-old son Nate in tow, meaning SES crews transported them in a four-wheel-drive vehicle.

Ms Duffield had been in Melbourne attending an Ed Sheeran concert with her sister and had spent time at the Royal Children’s Hospital after Nate fell ill with gastro.

She said V/Line staff kept her updated on the situation. Passengers completed their journeys on coaches.

The knock-on effect of the breakdown meant the 9:24am Warrnambool to Melbourne service stopped at Camperdown and was replaced by coaches for the rest of the journey and later services were entirely replaced by coaches.

Colac SES unit controller Steve Tevelein said seven members had followed V/Line protocol by helping people off the train and ushering them along the edge of the train line up to waiting buses.

He said the scenario was something the crew had trained for previously and he was not surprised to be involved in the job.

A V/Line spokeswoman said a “major train fault” had caused the early termination of the service.

“We sincerely apologise to customers for the inconvenience,” she said.

The cause of the fault was being investigated.


Warrnambool train passengers were stranded 400 metres from Birregurra station this morning after a train fault brought their journey to a halt.

Some passengers on Warrnambool-bound service, which left Melbourne just after 7am, had to walk alongside the tracks to Birregurra Station after disembarking with the help of SES crew members.

Terang resident Ebony Duffield, who was with her one-year-old son, Nate, who had been in the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne with gastro, was helped from the train by Colac SES crew who transported them in a vehicle.

Ms Duffield said she had been in Melbourne for the Ed Sheeran concert with her sister when her son fell ill.

She said Nate had been patient despite the long delays and V/Line staff had kept her updated on the situation.

Ms Duffield said they had caught the early train back because her nephew wanted to see Essendon Football Club players who were in Terang for a clinic, but the fault meant he would miss out.

The passengers will be transported the rest of the way on coaches. The 9.24am Warrnambool to Southern Cross service was set to terminate at Camperdown to be replaced by coaches for the rest of the journey and the 12.06pm Warrnambool to Southern Cross service was cancelled.

The Standard has contacted V/Line for further information and comment.

More to come.