Making ewe wait as train nears
A train was delayed almost 40 minutes on January 8 after a lone sheep was spotted on the tracks south of Seymour.
Sunday travellers on the 6.32 pm from Southern Cross Station were left to twiddle their thumbs at Broadford Station while police rounded up the animal.
A V/Line spokesperson said police instructed the driver of the Shepparton-bound service to wait until the sheep was herded off the track before the journey was safely resumed.
‘‘Livestock and train tracks are never a good mix and we are asking stock owners to do everything they can to keep them apart,’’ the spokesperson said.
‘‘When an animal strike occurs, V/Line trains have to be withdrawn from service for repairs, which adds significant cost due to the additional maintenance and replacement coaches required.
‘‘Trains can come from either direction at any time and being in the rail environment without proper safety measures is dangerous.’’
Last year there were about 400 cases where domestic and agricultural animals were hit by trains after wandering into the path of a high-speed V/Line train.
The figure was the highest in five years and the spokesperson said there had been an increase in animal deaths year after year.
Livestock producers have legal obligations to prevent animals straying onto the rail corridor and incidents can result in owners being fined or livestock impounded.
People have been urged to phone V/Line on 9619 1077 to report livestock on train tracks.
— Rhiannon Tuffield