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Children urged to stay clear of train tracks

CLOSE CALL: Bundaberg Sugar are reminding parents to make sure their kids are not playing near cane railway tracks as this year's crushing season has been extended. Austin and Duncan Allen helped to illustrate the dangers in a photo set up by Bundaberg Sugar and the NewsMail. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail
CLOSE CALL: Bundaberg Sugar are reminding parents to make sure their kids are not playing near cane railway tracks as this year's crushing season has been extended. Austin and Duncan Allen helped to illustrate the dangers in a photo set up by Bundaberg Sugar and the NewsMail. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail Max Fleet

WITH the sugar cane crush expected to be extended longer than usual this year, Bundaberg Sugar is pleading with parents to ensure children continue to stay well clear from the train tracks.

Cane Logistics superintendent Robert Powell said the excellent weather conditions the region had been experiencing had led to a bumper crop of sugar cane.

"The season will go longer than it usually does, until about early December," he said.

"With that, we are concerned about children playing around the tracks."

Mr Powell said cane train tracks often became enticing for children.

"They become mesmerised - they don't see the danger," he said.

Mr Powell said the trains had relatively quiet engines, and they took about 1km to come to a complete stop.

"Most times our trains are in excess of 400t of rolling mass and they're travelling at speeds of 25km/h," he said.

He said one of the biggest dangers was children walking through a cutting, where there was little or no room between the tracks and an embankment.

"Sometimes what (children) do, they tend to innocently walk along the track to a particular destination," he said.

"When a train comes, they've got nowhere to go.

"Often the sides are too steep for them to climb up."

Mr Powell said it was important to stay at least 10m clear of the tracks when trains were passing.

"We've had instances at Moore Park where children have been playing on the tracks and are not stepping back far enough when the train comes," he said.

"The drivers are pretty concerned too because you never know what a child is going to do."

He also discouraged children from playing on stationary cane train bins.

"There have been incidents (elsewhere) where children have lost legs and arms because they've fallen off the bins," he said.

Mr Powell said the safety warning also came as a timely reminder to motorists, to be mindful of stopping at train crossings, as well as people who listen to music while walking near the lines.

"It's not just kids, it's adults as well," he said.

"We want everyone to be safe."

Topics:  bundaberg sugar, moore park beach



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