There was a fire overnight at VicTrack’s Newport Maintenance Facility in the sheds that house Steam Rail Victoria. There were no rail staff or other personnel on site and, as far as we are aware, no one has been injured.
The Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) were called around 1.30am and took a number of hours to control the fire. The MFB have cordoned off the site and remain on site to complete their clean-up and investigation.
VicTrack had senior and rail safety staff and a structural engineer in attendance at Newport early this morning and is assisting in any way we can with the MFB investigation.
The roof lining of the building contains asbestos, however, at this stage, VicTrack believes there is a low risk to site users.
VicTrack has engaged an independent asbestos hygienist to undertake air monitoring.
The workshop maintenance sheds where the fire was located were built between 1884 and 1888 and are both heritage-listed buildings.
The site is leased to Steam Rail Victoria for their heritage operations, including the restoration of historic rail locomotives and carriages and we believe four historic ‘red rattler’ wagons were damaged.
The MFB isolated power to a portion of the site used by MTM to provide lighting, which affected the ability for train drivers to access the nearby train stabling area. This in turn affected services on the Werribee line during this morning’s peak. Power has now been restored.
The cause of the fire is unknown at this stage and is still under investigation.
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