Workers on site of Bendigo train, car crash near Kangaroo Flat | Photos, video

UPDATE 4.10pm: Two cranes are positioned to lift the train onto new bogies.

UPDATE 3.15pm: The driver of a car left on train tracks at Kangaroo Flat yesterday has been released, investigators say.

A Victoria Police spokesperson said further enquiries were being made.

UPDATE 3pm: Two large cranes are in place to lift the train onto new bogies, or sets of wheels.

A third, smaller crane is assisting to move the counter weights.

The disabled train was dragged about 300 metres from where it came to a rest following the crash, to a spot accessible to the cranes.

Overhead power lines made the initial location unsuitable for the cranes.

After the bogies are replaced, the train will be pushed to the Bendigo workshop for repairs.

The majority of the approximately 30 staff on site are from Bendigo.

Repairs are being performed at sections in the track while the train works are ongoing.

They are likely to continue for up to five nights, but rail services will resume as soon as possible.

Trains will travel through the affected passage at a reduced speed until the works are complete.

V/line said there would be some night works, with minor disruptions to the service expected.

Trains generally travel at up to 130 kilometres per hour on the affected section of the track.

It took the derailed Bendigo train about 800 metres to come to a complete stop following the collision with the 4WD.

Bendigo Highway Patrol said the vehicle was pushed about 65 metres. It was pushed to the side of the track by the train.

Today's works involve about 750 metres of track, 500 tonnes of ballast, and about 1020 high profile concrete sleepers.

UPDATE 1.45pm: Metres of Bendigo rail and sleepers will have to be replaced as a result of yesterday’s train and car collision in Kangaroo Flat, part of a clean-up effort V/Line has called “mammoth”.

Chief operating officer Carol-Anne Nelson said staff worked around the clock since the incident. 

Workers and customers were offered support after the incident, she said. 

“This type of incident has many flow on effects including costly damage to infrastructure, a mammoth recovery effort and possible trauma to those involved,” she said.

“As work continues to restore services, we are getting in touch with the customers to ensure they’re aware of assistance that is available to them, and also reimbursements.”

About 30 metres of track and sleeper will need to be replaced over a one-kilometre section of the line. 

Another V/Line locomotive today pulled the train to a section of track from where two cranes will lift the three carriages.  

Damaged wheels, known as bogies, will then be replaced and the train towed to Bendigo.  

EARLIER: WORK is underway to remove the Bendigo train derailed following a crash with a car left on the tracks on Wednesday. 

Police have taped off the crash location in an effort to secure the site.

Meanwhile, a second train is helping to move the stricken locomotive. 

The train is being dragged away from overhead power lines so cranes can lift it back into place this afternoon. 

It is expected two trains will be required to lift the carriages onto the track.

Two people were taken to Bendigo hospital with minor injuries after the train, carrying about 80 passengers, was derailed near Kangaroo Flat about 2pm on Wednesday. 

Emergency services were called to the tracks near Phillis Street, Big Hill, after the 12:14pm Melbourne to Epsom V/Line service and a 4WD collided.  

V/Line said the 4WD was crossing the tracks and became stuck.

Bendigo Senior Sergeant Peter Wardell said the driver was outside of the vehicle when the crash occurred.

Police believe the man went to seek help when the car got stuck.

“Before help could arrive, the train arrived,” Senior Sergeant Wardell said.

The 4WD travelled about 65 metres down the track.

Police had yet to determine why the driver was attempting to cross that section of the tracks. 

The driver was assisting police with their inquiries on Wednesday night.

The incident did not take place at a level crossing.

Police, V/Line, State Emergency Service, Country Fire Authority and Ambulance Victoria units were among those at the scene. 

Senior Sergeant Wardell said the response by emergency services was exceptional.

“The passengers too have been excellent,” he said.

“They were very well organised themselves – they weren’t hysterical, it’s been very good.”

In addition to the 80 passengers, the train was carrying a conductor, a driver and a driver trainer. 

V/Line said the track had sustained damage and was in need of repairs.

Two busses took passengers from the scene, and coaches were expected to replace trains along the affected parts of the route for the rest of the day. 

Ambulance Victoria said a man and a woman were conveyed to Bendigo hospital with minor injuries. 

Four other people were assessed at the scene by paramedics, but were not taken to hospital.

The train driver was among those hurt. 

Senior Sergeant Wardell said the most serious injury that had been reported to him was a sore ankle.

More to come.