News State Victoria News Two people dead after Sydney to Melbourne XPT train derails

Two people dead after Sydney to Melbourne XPT train derails

The CFA confirmed five passenger cars are derailed and the locomotive is on its side. Photo: CFA
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Two people have died after the Sydney to Melbourne XPT train derailed near Wallan in Victoria on Thursday night.

One of the dead is believed to be the driver of the diesel locomotive.

Another passenger is being flown by air ambulance to Melbourne after five carriages derailed about 7.50pm.

Victoria Police tweeted that a number of other passengers had been injured.

Ambulance Victoria said in a statement that a large number of people were being assessed by paramedics but were not believed to be seriously injured.

It said one person was taken to Royal Melbourne Hospital and 11 others were taken to other hospitals with minor injuries.

V/Line confirmed the NSW Countrylink train had derailed about 500 metres north of Wallan station, near the Epping-Kilmore Road, about 45 kilometres north of Melbourne, on the North East line.

The XPT was believed to be carrying about 160 passengers.

Emergency services were on the scene, and the rail lines between Melbourne and Sydney have been closed.

CFA tweeted that the locomotive has tipped onto its side.

At least three helicopters, including an air ambulance chopper, were deployed to a scene that CFA described as “very chaotic at this stage”.

Dr Scott Rickard was in the second carriage of the train, ABC reports, and said it was a scary experience.

“All of sudden, we just seemed to be slowing to a very fast stop,” she said.

“Stuff flew off our tables, people started moving around, luggage went flying, that kind of thing.

“Our carriage finished on an angle.”

She said passengers were stuck in the carriage for about 10 minutes.

“There were people lying all over the place and we had to kind of make sure people weren’t injured,” she said.

“Most of the carriage was fine – there were a lot of older people on the carriage so that was really reassuring to see that they’ve come out fine.”

“It was maybe about 10 minutes before we got off but that was because we were just being very careful and making sure everybody was safe.”

The Age reports that the train was gaining speed after being stopped due to a signalling issue.

Passenger Rob Jennings said passengers were tossed around the carriage during the minute-long period from when the train began to derail to when it came to a halt.

“It just veered off, and all the carriages smashed into one another,” Mr Jennings told The Age.

“People were tossing around … there was some screaming – everyone was just grasping on, some in the brace position, preparing for the possibility of something worse.”

All passengers who were able to walk from the train have been taken to the Wallan McDonald’s and BP Truckstore area, which being used as a triage centre.

All V/Line Seymour and Shepparton V/Line services have been cancelled until further notice.

The train, which had left Central Station in Sydney at 7.40am, had been due to arrive at Southern Cross Station in Melbourne at 6.30pm.

It was running more than two hours late at the time of the crash.

The track buckled and both carriages shifted at least 10 metres from their normal trajectory.

-with AAP

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