Banyo, Queensland: Head-end camera images highlight risk of grounding

30 Nov

Banyo collision, September 14th, 2012. Source 7 News

Banyo collision, September 14th, 2012. Source 7 News

14 months after the train-truck collision on the St Vincent’s Road level crossing in Banyo, a northern suburb of Brisbane, head-end camera images from a train stopped at the adjacent station show the collision of a train travelling in the opposite direction with a grounded low-loader.

The head-end camera images of the September 14th, 2012 collision first shown on 7 News (http://au.news.yahoo.com/qld/a/20076610/horror-train-collision/) show the grounded low-loader carrying a 38 tonne transformer, the efforts of a truck driver and another person trying to disentangle the stranded truck from a lowered level crossing barrier and then the collision itself. The train driver, truck driver and the witness who assisted the truck driver were all lucky to escape with their lives given the nature of the collision.

Grounding of road vehicles, especially those which are long and / or low-loaders remains a world-wide issue that can have catastrophic consequences. While the rail and highways authorities working together can improve the profile of highways over level crossings, a key risk control is for haulage and own-account truck operators conveying abnormal loads to properly plan the route they are to take and ensure that their drivers adhere to routes cleared for the journey in question. This is not just a public roads issue as there are the road vehicles and farm equipment using private level crossings to consider as well.

The investigation into this collision conducted by the Queensland Transport and Main Roads Department found the driver of the truck did not have the correct permit allowing him to use the St Vincent’s Road level crossing. The “vertical geometry” of this level crossing was not suitable for low-loader trailers, which was the immediate cause of the grounding of the low-loader.

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