Cane train destroys tractor and more than 50 cane bins

MAJOR CRASH: 50 cane bins were damaged when a cane train hit a tractor last month.
MAJOR CRASH: 50 cane bins were damaged when a cane train hit a tractor last month. Contributed

A FRESH warning for motorists to take care around railway lines has been issued after three accidents involving vehicles and trains over the past month.

On Wednesday, a tractor pulling out of a siding south of Racecourse mill failed to stop before crossing a railway line and an oncoming train collided with it, leaving the tractor too damaged to drive. Nobody was injured in the incident.

Previously, on August 29, a man died when his truck was hit and demolished by a goods train at Pindi Pindi north of Mackay, near Calen.


The remains of a truck which was hit by a train at Pindi Pindi
The remains of a truck which was hit by a train at Pindi Pindi Jonathan Reichard

In a third incident on August 18 at Munbura, south of Baker's Creek, a cane train hit a tractor-trailer combination that was parked along the rail line. While no one was injured, the resulting collision caused substantial damage to over 50 cane bins and the tractor-trailer combination.

Craig Bentley, general manager of cane supply and logistics at Mackay Sugar said people need to be aware of the danger around rail lines.

"We've had eight level crossing collisions in the last four years. This is becoming a regular thing just on our little rail network.

"These sort of things can lead to fatalities. The moral of the story is anybody anywhere near any rail corridor needs to be very careful, because it's almost like a live electricity line. You never know when a train is coming and the train can't stop and it can't go anywhere. You need to stay clear of the rail corridor.

"The very busy level crossings have flashing lights, less busy level crossings have the two crossed lines with a triangle, it doesn't have flashing lights, but it does have a warning sign, then there are hundreds, or even thousands which are just a track across the line. At all of those, is a big risk to anyone in a vehicle who is crossing the line.

"Unless the flashing lights are there and you know you've got a clear path, they need to treat the line as live and a train could be coming down the line at any minute. Only cross when it's safe and when you do cross, make sure it's quickly and efficiently," Mr Bentley said.

Topics:  cane trains crashes editors picks level crossing level crossings tractor train crash

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