Rail safety concerns track boss

John DobsonAlbany Advertiser

The Great Southern’s railway network manager is concerned over the number of near-misses and trespass on the region’s rail lines, with 14 incidents recorded this past financial year.

Arc Infrastructure, which manages the thousands of kilometres of line in the region, made a public plea for safety around railways lines as part of Rail Safety Week.

The company’s regional lead Great Southern Roy Spurr said incidents of drivers dicing with death at railway crossings and vandalism within the rail corridor were particularly concerning.

"Many of these incidents were a result of people not paying attention or becoming complacent around the railway,” he said.

"We work hard to minimise the risks associated with the railway; however, members of the community have a significant part to play in ensuring their own safety.

"Each of these incidents could have easily been avoided if people had taken better care around the railway.

"Due to train size, length and weight, it can take a train up to 2km to stop.

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

There were 15 incidents in the region in the 2015-16 financial year.

Earlier this year, CBH Group which operates grain trains on the network, released a series of videos of near misses at railway crossings in the Great Southern.

In one video, a truck almost collides with a train on a level crossing near Mt Barker, while in another a car drives towards the train at night on the railway.

In the last 12 months, almost 220 incidents occurred on Arc Infrastructure’s network across WA, including trespass, vandalism, hits and near hits with trains.

The Rail Safety Week campaign runs until Sunday, August 20.

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