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Switching on with rail safety in heading back to school

Aurizon’s largest rail-based transport company, Aurizon is urging a fatality-free start to the new school year by staying away from trains and tracks.

The plea follows a number of disturbing near misses during 2016.

Aurizon owns and operates the 2,700 kilometre coal network in Central Queensland, as well as operating freight trains across the country. Aurizon operates about 160 trains a day and carries about 280 million tonnes of freight for customers each year.

Aurizon’s Head of Safety, Neil Backer said Aurizon was extremely concerned by reports of people, particularly children ‘cutting’ through the rail corridor and using it as a ‘short cut’.

“Our message is simple – stay off the tracks and stop, look, listen and think at level crossings,” he said.

“I encourage all families to discuss rail safety with their children and to practice safe behaviour around the rail, corridor, especially during the back to school period.

“Our drivers can’t swerve to miss people on the track and it takes nearly two kilometres to stop a 10 thousand tonne train even with the application of the emergency brakes.

“Every near miss, incident or fatality on the rail network can also cause severe and ongoing trauma for our drivers.”

Parents are advised to talk to their children about the potential dangers, reminding them of the following:
• Only cross at designated areas – overhead footbridges, subway tunnels and pedestrian and vehicular level crossings
• Never take a short cut across the tracks
• Always look out for a second train.

Aurizon has produced an animated Rail Safety video that all families should share with their children, available on the Aurizon YouTube channel.