GET OFF THE TRACKS

Albany Extra - - Front Page - Shan­non Smith

Near misses and van­dal­ism in­ci­dents on Great South­ern rail lines prompt a warn­ing from rail­way op­er­a­tor.

Near misses and van­dal­ism on Great South­ern train lines has prompted a warn­ing from rail op­er­a­tor Arc In­fra­struc­ture.

On the back of Rail Safety Week, the com­pany which man­ages the re­gion’s rail­way lines has con­firmed that there were 10 in­ci­dents recorded on Great South­ern rail­ways in the past 12 months.

The com­pany op­er­ates 5500km of rail lines Statewide, and the 10 in­ci­dents were some of the 220 re­ported across WA.

Arc In­fra­struc­ture Great South­ern re­gional leader Fred Steer said that on the rail line in the Great South­ern re­gion, four of these were tres­pass­ing in­ci­dents.

“While three were acts of van­dal­ism we also recorded three near misses,” he said.

“The most com­mon in­ci­dents we see within the rail cor­ri­dor in­clude tres­pass­ing, van­dal­ism, and near misses with trains. Thank­fully, se­ri­ous in­ci­dents and in­juries are not com­mon which is tes­ta­ment to the work that goes into en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to act safely when­ever peo­ple are near rail lines.”

The Great South­ern team is re­spon­si­ble for main­tain­ing the south­ern Grain Freight Rail Net­work. A train on the net­work can weigh more than 14,000 tonnes and may be trav­el­ling at speeds up to 130km/h.

Mr Steer said this size means it can take a train up to 2km to stop.

“That’s al­most the equiv­a­lent of 11 foot­ball fields.

“We all have a role to play in en­sur­ing the safety around the rail­way. Wait­ing just a cou­ple of min­utes for a train to pass, or tak­ing ex­tra cau­tion around the rail­way tracks, could save your life.

“Many of these in­ci­dents are a re­sult of peo­ple not pay­ing at­ten­tion or be­com­ing com­pla­cent around the rail­way.”

Rail Safety Week ran from Au­gust 12 to 18.

It is an an­nual com­mu­nity aware­ness week, which is held to en­gage the com­mu­nity in safe rail prac­tices.

Arc In­fra­struc­ture op­er­ates 5500km of rail lines across the State.

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