I can scarcely believe this could happen.
Workers removed a long piece of rail track and a train has to use emergency braking to avoid hitting a works vehicle and probably derailing after coming to the area where the rail had been removed. A speed restriction of 80 km/h in that section of track due to its poor condition is the only reason why this was not a sure disaster.
Trains have been around for a very long time, longer than the motor car. It was known very early that the potential for disaster was high if the train interacted with another train or if it came off the tracks. The risk to track workers was very well known.
So, protection was applied to various situations, such as interlock signalling, flagmen and detonators laid on tracks to alert both the train driver and the workers and many things I have no idea about.
So how did this near disaster happen? Well, from what I have learnt the train should not have been on the track at all. The track section was mistakenly opened by a person in a control centre who possibly confused instructions or received wrong instructions. No doubt in my mind that it was human error of some type. Human error happens. So that is why there are back up safety systems.
And these back up safety systems? I don't know what they are, but sure as god made little green apples, they failed too.
After what, 16o years of trains, safe working has been detailed down the most minute point, and yet, in this supposed first world country, it all failed and the situation was only saved by again this supposed first world country where trains are speed restricted between our two largest cities to 80 km/h.
Of course had Australian Rail Track Corporation been privatised, this would have never happened......or would it?