Man charged over Vic train sabotage, arson

AAP
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Man arrested over Vic train derailment

Police are expected to charge a man over the derailment of a Melbourne train last November.

A man has been charged over a train derailment in Melbourne's outer northeast and a string of arson attacks dating back to 2009.

Police say stolen keys were used to start the train at the Hurstbridge holding yard last November but it didn't get very far before security equipment derailed it and any plans for a joy ride.

A 27-year-old Waterford Park man has been charged with more than 25 offences including sabotage, arson and burglary.

The train travelled about 80 metres before crashing into another train and a fence on November 11, causing an estimated $3 million damage and disrupting services on the Hurstbridge line for weeks.

Police allege the man set fires at the Newport fire museum in November 2009, the Newport steam rail club warehouse twice last year and the Clonbinane CFA fire station in July 2015.

He is accused of setting a series of grass fires at Taradale, Malmsbury, Kilmore East and Mount Disappointment in central Victoria in December 2015 and at a rail signal hut in Tottenham in July 2015 and February this year.

The most recent arson charge relates to a fire at a rubber matting shop in Brooklyn on Friday night.

The man is also accused of stealing cabling from rail signal huts at Newport and Sunshine North in July last year and again in Newport in November last year.

He was arrested by transit and arson squad detectives in Waterford Park on Saturday.

The man was expected to appear in an out-of-sessions hearing at the Victoria Police Centre in Melbourne late on Sunday afternoon.