Following a spate of safety incidents within the rail corridor, Queensland Rail, in collaboration with Aurizon and the Queensland Police Service (QPS), will be bringing their rail safety messages to the Gatton community this week (22-25 October) to help promote safer behaviour and warn of the dangers of trespassing on the rail network.
Queensland Rail CEO Nick Easy said the safety blitz followed a range of recent incidents including people illegally crossing rail tracks or leaving objects on the tracks in front of oncoming trains.
"These incidents are extremely concerning, which is why Queensland Rail, Aurizon, and QPS will be teaming up this week, visiting local schools, businesses, and shopping centres in a bid to remind the community of the importance of taking care around the train network," Mr Easy said.
"Trains on our regional network can weigh up to 2,800 tonnes, travel at speeds of up to 80 kilometres per hour, and cannot stop suddenly or swerve to avoid a collision.
"We want everyone in the community to go home safely, including our train drivers and customers, which is why it's incredibly important for members of the community to only cross tracks at designated crossings where it's safe to do so.
"Last financial year, there were four incidents of people trespassing in the rail corridor in Gatton, including one report of a youth putting themselves at danger of an oncoming train to shortcut across the tracks.
"Further to this, there were also five incidents of objects, including shopping trolleys and rubbish bins, being left on the railway tracks, bringing oncoming trains to a halt.
"While thankfully no serious incidents have resulted, leaving an object on the tracks, or dashing in front of an oncoming train, is completely reckless and has the potential to turn into a tragedy in just a matter of seconds.
"While the majority of the community does the right thing, even one safety incident on our network is one too many.
"That's why our teams will be joining forces with Aurizon and QPS to visit schools, youth centres, shopping centres, and local businesses along the rail corridor this week, to educate students, families, visitors, and workers about rail safety.
"To curb unsafe behaviour, temporary CCTV will also be installed near Gatton station to capture any trespassers or objects being placed on the tracks from the platform or pedestrian overpass.
"Queensland Rail is also upgrading the rail corridor fencing with an anti-climb, weld mesh material and updating trespass signage.
"Queensland Rail's number one priority is safety and our teams are looking forward to meeting with members of the community this week, in a bid to promote safer behaviour."
To report unsafe behaviour on the network, members of the public can call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. Those caught trespassing on the rail network can cop a fine of $261.