Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The danger of railway crossings in Australia

from w
I've travelled on the Swan Hill - Melbourne train numerous times and also driven up north to the Mallee over many years. I was invited a few nights ago to go up on the train next week for a reunion, but not now...

In Victoria there are over a thousand railway crossings with flashing lights and bells ringing but without boom gates. These days there are many huge semi-trailers on the roads because of centralization and they travel at 100 or more at times. I find them very scary if I'm in a car next to them.

There was a horrific accident yesterday when the Swan Hill train going south was hit by a semi who was possibly trying to pass a van and veered to the right. This happened about 6 k north of Kerang. Did the driver see the flashing lights? Well, it was a clear day and with an open visible area of farms. Eleven people have died and many others injured. Because we know many people from Swan Hill and the river towns we have been very disturbed about the accident and wondered if we knew some of the people. I rang my brother's home last night but no names had been released then. So far only a few names have been given as the people have to be identified.

The question raised now is how to make the roads and railway crossings much safer. Perhaps the speed limit has to be reduced drastically near the crossings.

It is such a tragedy for the families. Some of the deceased are young people who had just gone to another carriage to get food to eat. An awful waste of young lives.

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Blogger Penny said...

Wendy there is a fairly simple solution to this which seems to be done in south australia, you slow the traffic up before and after railway crossings by doing a sort of s bend in the road, there is one in articular in our mallee where they do that and you cant possibly drive straight through. I think a boom gate would still be useless if you hit it like that truck did.

3:11 PM  
Blogger Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Yes, and boom gates would cost millions too. A bend in the road, now that's a good idea. The trucks just drive too too fast and then a few seconds of lack of concentration and it's just too late to stop.
The names of the deceased are now in the news and families from Robinvale, Swan Hill, Kerang and Balranald are now in mourning. And there was a young New Zealander also. It's really tragic.

5:21 PM  

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