Rail lobby wants B-double restrictions

Rail lobby pushes for B-double restrictions following the release of a report into a truck and train collision

Rail lobby wants B-double restrictions
Rail lobby wants B-double restrictions
By Michael House | October 6, 2009

The rail lobby is calling for restrictions to be imposed on B-doubles following the release of a report into a collision between a freight train and truck.

Australasian Railway Association (ARA) Chief Executive Bryan Nye wants B-double drivers using routes with level crossings to be forced to carry access permits, claiming the process will improve safety.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau's (ATSB) inquest into a collision between the train and the double roadtrain at Birkenhead, South Australia in March last year showed the heavy vehicle did not have an access permit for the route it was using.

"We would like to see all B-doubles and B-triples who are going to use level crossings have permits. The road traffic authorities need to ensure this is the case," Nye says.

"Heavy vehicle permits are granted after careful consideration of the truck, the road infrastructure and most importantly, the safety of other road users," Nye says.

The ARA says drivers who fail to abide by the permit restrictions risk their own life as well as the lives of other road and rail users.

In its report, the ATSB found South Australia's roads department had not consulted the federal government-run Australian Rail Track Corporation when deciding to grant permits.

The ATSB says the lack of communication meant the roads department was unable to determine the risks involved with the vehicle using a route with a level crossing on it.

"The Australian Rail Track Corporation had not been approached as part of the Department for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure's process of issuing heavy vehicle permits for routine fixed term restricted access vehicle operations," the ATSB says.

Based on its finds, the ATSB says there needs to be more dialogue between road and rail authorities to help avert future collisions between freight trains and trucks.

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