Charges after track death

11 January 2017

The Director, Transport Safety, David Hourigan, has charged rail operator Metro Trains Melbourne Pty Ltd (MTM) with breaching its rail safety obligations in relation to a fatal accident that occurred at Heyington station in 2014.

The incident occurred on 22 February 2014 when 18 year old Mitchell Callaghan attempted to board a departing city-bound train. The doors were being held open by a number of other passengers and, as the train departed, Mr Callaghan fell through the gap between the train and the platform. Mr Callaghan died as a result of his injuries.

The charges filed against MTM are:

  • breach of section 20 of the Rail Safety Act 2006 for failing to ensure the safety of its rail infrastructure operations (in relation to the gap between the platform and the train)
  • breach of section 21 of the Rail Safety Act 2006 for failing to ensure the safety of its rolling stock operations (in relation to installing indefinite interlocking traction delay to prevent trains from being moved with open doors).

While responsibility for the regulation of Victoria's heavy rail operations now rests with the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR), Transport Safety Victoria has investigated the incident pursuant to the Victorian law that existed at the time of the incident.

"As Victoria's transport safety regulator, my primary objective is to independently seek the highest transport safety standards that are reasonably practicable, and the filing of these charges is consistent with that purpose", Mr Hourigan said today.

"This has been a long and thorough investigation and I am satisfied that taking court action in this case is in the public interest.

"As the matter is now before the Court, it would be inappropriate for me to make any further comment at this time", Mr Hourigan added. 

For more information, please contact:
Janet Miller, A/Manager, Strategic Communications
M 0437 583 305, T 1800 223 022,
E janet.miller@transportsafety.vic.gov.au