Incidents raise safety questions



ONE hundred and twenty eight people were injured in the Bundaberg Tilt Train derailment almost a year ago which prompted recommendations to Queensland Rail (QR).

But two incidents in three days in the Gladstone region have again raised questions about the safety of the service.

On Tuesday morning the Rockhampton to Brisbane Tilt Train was brought to a standstill between Miriam Vale and Nutley when it ran into a problem with an overhead line.

While nobody was injured, passengers were delayed for three hours before continuing their journey by bus.

This came just three days after an incident in which three high school girls travelling to Rockhampton suffered minor abrasions when an overhead wire became detached and smashed through their train carriage window near Gladstone on Sunday night.

Yesterday in The Observer Jim Brodie, the Gladstone grandfather of one of the train passengers, questioned the protocols that QR has in place to handle emergency situations.

He said despite calls to the various QR information numbers and promises of a call back, he received no information on the safety of his granddaughter.

It was only because she was able to phone him on her mobile that Mr Brodie knew she was safe.

'You've got to go through the normal ticket counter,' Mr Brodie said.

'They need to have an emergency line.'

Mr Brodie, a previous QR train guard, said he didn't believe QR valued their passengers' safety and this was shown by their handling of the accident on Sunday night. 'It shows they couldn't care less,' Mr Brodie said.

A QR spokeswoman apologised for inconvenience to callers.

One of the recommendations from the October investigation report into the Bundaberg Tilt Train derailment was QR should review its emergency communication strategies on the north coast line.

QR's response was it 'will research enhanced emergency communications systems'.

In relation to Tuesday's incident, a QR spokeswoman yesterday said QR did its best to contact all passengers involved.

She also said the train involved in Sunday's accident had been repaired and yesterday was back in service and the wires at both Callemondah Yard and near Miriam Vale had been repaired.

Investigations were continuing.



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