Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Campaign to Fix Level Crossings; after Trains Collide with Cars, Calls Increase to Improve Rocky's Intersection Safety

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Campaign to Fix Level Crossings; after Trains Collide with Cars, Calls Increase to Improve Rocky's Intersection Safety

Article excerpt

Byline: Leighton Smith Leighton.Smith@capnews.com.au

NETWORK STATISTICS

Seven intersections without boom gates.

28 trains per day.

Two petitions to fix the intersection.

KATIE Kermond or her passengers never heard or saw the train coming on the fateful early morning she passed through the intersection of Denison and William Streets in Rockhampton.

Ms Kermond said the authorities later referred to the Spirit of Queensland train as the "quiet train" which slammed into the rental vehicle she was driving in with three passengers, pushing them 20m down the tracks, on July 15 last year.

"Miraculously, we all walked away from the accident," Ms Kermond said.

Hearing emergency workers say, "this is such a dangerous street, there's been fatalities" spurred her to address the situation.

As a choreographer from Sydney, Ms Kermond has travelled to Rockhampton several times over the years and was on her way home from the a cabaret show she had helped run for the River Festival when the accident occurred.

She said it was drizzling, the intersection was poorly lit and with no flashing lights or boom gates, the last thing she expected was to encounter a train.

Ms Kermond said she dreaded coming forward to confront the issue, but was determined to see the safety situation resolved by launching two petitions calling for change, with one due to be tabled in Queensland Parliament on May 15.

Ms Kermond said there are seven intersections in the Rockhampton CBD that lack boom gates and flashing lights.

She said given 28 trains pass through daily, this represented a significant safety concern that the community widely acknowledged needed to be addressed.

In 2012, two bull riders were lucky to escape with their lives after being hit by a train at the same intersection.

She has been told that a multi-faceted issue with overlapping jurisdictions required the collaborative efforts of the Queensland Government, Rockhampton Regional Council and Queensland Rail to address this situation, until the eventual implementation of the rail bypass. …

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