Mak­ing ewe wait as train nears

Seymour Telegraph - - NEWS -

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

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