QR National urges vigilance to mark National Rail Safety Week
QR National is pleading with motorists to play it safe following a spate of serious incidents at rail level crossings in Queensland.
There have been more than 60 incidents in 2011 in which trains have come close to colliding with vehicles on the QR National rail network with the most recent a near miss at Gracemere near Rockhampton last week. The QR National network covers the coal export tracks in central Queensland, to ports at Abbott Point, Hay Point near Mackay and Gladstone.
There was also a motorist fatality at a level crossing on the Queensland Rail network last week.
Chief Safety, Health and Environment Officer Neil Backer says National Rail Safety Week, which starts today, provides a timely reminder that people are still taking too many unnecessary risks when it comes to their lives and the lives of train drivers.
The annual National Rail Safety Week, marked in both Australia and New Zealand, is an opportunity for all people in the rail industry to highlight the message of safety in the communities in which they operate.
"This rail safety awareness week is about reminding people about correct behaviour at and around rail crossings.
"We have hundreds of trains travelling on our networks in Queensland coal fields and trains also running on Queensland Rail’s network in other parts of the state and in Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales.
"On our network in Central Queensland for example, our coal trains do not stick to timetables, so people should never assume they know when the trains are due.
"He said this was important not just to save their own life, but also to avoid the trauma caused to a train driver who is unable to pull up when travelling through the crossing.
"Remember a train ALWAYS has right of way," he said.
Mr Backer reiterated that trespass on the rail corridor was equally dangerous.
"Sadly this also continues to be a problem that QR National has to deal with and again is timely to remind people with the September school holidays just around the corner."
"Please educate your children about the dangers of being anywhere inside the rail corridor before it’s too late" he said.