Cause of Richmond train crash undetermined

The January 22 impact crushed the train's the bumper and caused part of it to lift.
The January 22 impact crushed the train's the bumper and caused part of it to lift.

The train that slammed into a rail barrier at a Sydney station earlier this year - injuring 16 people - was not speeding and the experienced driver was familiar with the line, an initial report into the crash has found.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau report also revealed the driver was "medically fit" and the rails were free of contaminants. The report did not shed light on what caused the accident.

The train smashed into the end of the line at Richmond Station on the city's outskirts on the morning of January 22. The impact crushed the platform's hydraulic buffer and caused carriages to concertina together and partly derail.

Many passengers had risen from their seats, ready to alight at the final stop, when the train crashed without warning at 9.50am.

The driver received minor injuries while the train's guard was left with facial and chest injuries.

They were treated at the scene with the injured passengers before the driver was tested for drugs and alcohol.

The ATSB's preliminary report, released on Thursday, found the driver was experienced, familiar with the route, fully qualified "and had been passed as medically fit".

The report found no evidence of contaminants on the rails, no issues with the windscreen or sun affecting the driver's vision, and no issue with the signal near the platform.

The train's event and video recorders were intact and operational, and were seized for further analysis.

The train was found to be travelling around 35km/h in the moments before the impact, well under the 50km/h speed limit on that part of the line.

Sydney Trains implemented a temporary 25 km/h speed limit approaching the platform in response to the crash.

The ATSB investigation will continue to examine the train's maintenance history, brake and warning systems, crew performance, and track condition.

The bureau's final report is expected to be released in early 2019.

Australian Associated Press