Only sheer luck saved three people from being killed by an out-of-control train which smashed into the Lydiard Street rail gates in May this year.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) interim report into the crash, which was published on Tuesday, blames brake failure on the VLocity train for the late night crash which injured three people on board the train, and destroyed Ballarat's southern heritage rail gates.
But new information has shown that three people had walked across the crossing just 49 seconds before the train ploughed into the gates at 93km/h.
The report also highlights that the warning lights had not had time to change to red when the crash occurred, having been on amber at the time.
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The release of the report - which has exonerated the gates as a contributing factor - has prompted calls for authorities to now fix the gates and re-open the intersection to traffic.
"We need a decision or the public needs to get some advice on when work will start on the rebuilding of the gates and recasting of the columns," Save Our Station's Gerald Jenzen said.
Mr Jenzen said it was clear the gates were not at fault and should be replaced, with the Lydiard Street North intersection reopened to traffic as soon as possible. Before caretaker mode, City of Ballarat Council declared its position to campaign for the gates to be replaced.
The report states the train driver had tried braking 4.9km away from the Ballarat Station, with the train travelling at 160km/h.
The report also says the "sanding" valve had been operating for the majority of the final few kilometres.
After crashing through the Lydiard Street gates, the train passed the Doveton Street crossing at 73km/h, which is 377 metres beyond the Ballarat Station. It was "likely" the flashing lights, bells and boom barriers were operating but with reduced warning time.
Mr Jenzen the time was right to reopen the intersection and recast new gates.
"The stories have been out that it was the train, but what this does, is it puts it in writing that it was the problem," he said.
"Council has also talked about the gates being reopened subject to being proved to be safe. Well now we know they are, so let's reopen them."
Opposition transport infrastructure spokesman David Davis said the closure of the gates was impacting Ballarat.
"When you read the report, you can't be filled with much coincidence," Mr Davis said.
"the sand and the mechanism for breaking was clearly faulty in some way. But it doesn't seem there's been an effort to get to the bottom of what has gone wrong.
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"For safety reasons we must know, people were hurt in this crash and they'll be hurt again unless we get to the bottom of what's gone on."
Mr Davis also questions whether funding and maintenance cuts at V/Line were partly to blame for the crash, calling on the state government to explain its position to the Ballarat public.
Wendouree MP Juliana Addison said she had been and would continue to lobby her state government colleagues for a repair or recasting of new gates.
"Over the last four-and-a-half months I have spoken to and consulted widely with members of the community regarding our heritage gates," Ms Addison said.
"The feedback I've been receiving is that there is widespread community support for the heritage gates and I've certainly been advocating and making sure that the Minister for Public Transport is aware they are a very significant part of our heritage in Ballarat and something that the community deeply loves."
Ms Addison said she had confidence in the safety of the fleet.
"The VLocity fleet has been on our regional rail service for 15 years now and it's been very good service," she said.
"I know that safety comes first when it comes to the Victorian government and V/Line and my understanding from the interim report that safety checks have been done on all our VLocity trains and any problems have been addressed to ensure our drivers, passengers and staff work and continue to travel safely."
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