Train derailment tabled

QUESTIONS have been asked in parliament about a major derailment involving a cattle train near Alpha on March 4.

Member for Gregory Vaughan Johnson asked Transport Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk whether it was a Queensland Rail initiative to persuade cattle producers not to use trains to transport cattle.

In a question on notice, Mr Johnson asked whether QR had advised cattle producers and a meat-processing company seven days prior to the derailment that use of the service would be “at their own risk”. The service left Winton at 11.30pm on Thursday, March 3, with 39 decks of cattle headed for Lakes Creek Abattoir. It derailed 45km east of Alpha where 16 wagons and the locomotive left the tracks.

“No cattle were lost, but it took seven hours for men to unload and walk the cattle to Pinehill siding where they were yarded before being trucked out the next morning,” said Mr Johnson. “It is a very strange tale.. as if QR was expecting something to occur.”

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