1976 Laverton derailment

In July 10th 1976 a Melbourne bound train from Port Fairy derailed at Laverton, resulting in one fatality and a number of injured passengers.

From Rail Safety News issue 6, October 2011.

An up Port Fairy train approaching the junction at Laverton was routed onto the adjacent line. This was an abnormal situation and only occurred due to shunting operations at a siding further along the line. The train approached the junction at line speed and took the diverging move, at more then twice the rated speed and subsequently derailed.

The Coroner’s report made three recommendations to prevent re occurrence, the third being:“On lines where maximum speeds exceed50 mph where three position signalling is provided, modify the signalling arrangement so that medium speed crossovers are so signalled as to provide a stop signal for the crossover move for sufficient time to ensure that the Driver in observance of that signal reduces the speed of the train to a safe level.”

In this situation, the rated speed of the diverging move was 25mph. The specific control stated in the recommendation may not apply to all situations however, it is important to treat the risk presented in this scenario.