Ageing locos run down


CONCERNS are mounting from Gladstone rail workers at the Callemondah rail depot about the safety of Queensland Rail's electric and diesel locomotive fleet.

Workers at the site claim maintenance of the fleet is well behind schedule.

Australian Manufacturing Workers Union organiser Terry Grieves said workers had approached him about the number of locos overdue for maintenance.

"Workers are concerned the locomotives haven't been getting regular and timely maintenance.

"This matter is important because the fleet is ageing and regular maintenance is necessary to ensure the fleet can operate safely and reliably,'' Mr Grieves said.

"When the electrical locomotives come in for their service they are supposed to get the equivalent of a road worthy at the same time to ensure they are right for further work.

"There have been instances when this work has been postponed.''

The issue of maintenance was first raised at a meeting of workers just over a week ago.

Rail, Bus and Train Union state organiser Craig Allen said the rail network was a major contributor to the wealth of Queensland.

"Unfortunately the public are not that interested if the trains run on time so it hasn't been a major issue in the past,'' Mr Allen said.

"However QR wants to be a national player in the transport industry, so issues of safety with this ageing fleet are taking on more importance,'' he said.

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