Wallan train pilot boarded train a few stops earlier

Sam Meintanis, the rail worker who was killed in last week’s fatal Wallan train derailment boarded the doomed locomotive just a few stops before tragedy struck, it has been revealed.

WorkSafe Victoria is currently investigating the deaths of 49-year-old Sam Meintanis and 54-year-old ACT-based driver John Jennedy. It comes as dozens of people work around the clock to repair damaged train tracks on the loop where the fatal crash occurred last week.

Mr Meintanis was working as a pilot on the train and was given the task of helping the driver with navigating through the area while automatic signals were done.

WorkSafe believe he boarded the train last Thursday at Kilmore East, 16km north of Wallan, just minutes before the crash. The number of deaths in Victorian workplaces has risen to eight, three more than this time last year.

The front power car of the derailed XPT Sydney-Melbourne train was removed on Tuesday night from the crash site and loaded onto a truck. An Australian Rail Track Corporation spokesman said two carriages will be taken to Sydney on Thursday. After that, the trucks will return and pick up the remaining two carriages later this week.

“We have trackwork underway to repair damaged sections of the Wallan loop, with around 70 people on site working to restore the infrastructure,” an Australian Rail Track Corporation spokesman said. “Around three quarters of sleepers have been laid, half of the rail has been laid, signalling repairs are underway and ballasting continues.

“The main line in the immediate vicinity of the accident has been inspected, with no significant damage reported.”

Source: Herald Sun

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