The City of Ballarat is hoping it will soon learn of a potential solution to the problematic Lydiard Street level crossing which remains closed almost 12 months on.
Council is meeting with the Department of Transport on Wednesday to be provided with an update on the progress towards a solution.
The update comes after, as reported by The Courier, a set of replica heritage gates designed for the level crossing was uncovered in storage in Maryborough.
V/Line confirmed a set of gates were in storage in Maryborough and had been constructed prior to the incident, where an out-of-control train smashed through the previous replica gates.
According to V/Line, because two of the four pillars were destroyed in the incident, along with the gates and underground heritage mechanisms, the new gates cannot simply be installed in place of the destroyed set.
City of Ballarat Mayor Daniel Moloney said council was still waiting on word from the Department of Transport as to how the situation would be rectified.
"Either way, we're keen on a solution that sees those gates opened up as soon as possible," he said.
"We've been very clear that our preference is for those heritage gates to be reinstated unless V/Line can make a very significant safety argument otherwise and I think they need to have that conversation not just with us, but broadly with the community as well."
Cr Moloney said council was open to the gates becoming automated rather than operated remotely in Melbourne as they were at the time of the incident.
"I guess what we're keen to understand are the options that are being considered," he said.
"We're open to better automation of the heritage gates, we understand there might need to be upgrades and that would be our preference before considering removing them and putting in boom gates.
"Hopefully that option of automating the gates has been more seriously considered since we caught up with them last.
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"If that's not the case, we expect V/Line and the Department of Transport to have a really honest conversation with the community about why not."
Cr Moloney said while he appreciated V/Line updating council monthly, more communication was needed with the community.
"I would encourage the Department of Transport and V/Line to use some of their major projects as models as to how they would communicate. With good visuals and graphics, they can explain what's going on rather than just saying it's complex," he said.
Save Our Station president Gerald Jenzen said the community was left in the dark as to what was happening.
"We've heard nothing from Heritage Victoria, we've heard nothing from local politicians, it's like talking to a brick wall," he said.
"It's frustrating for everyone and just shows a complete disregard for the local people, by V/Line in particular."
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