Rail giant 'seeks amenities solution with ATA'

By: Rob McKay

Strategy for separate facilities for truck drivers and rail staff

Rail giant 'seeks amenities solution with ATA'
Pacific National says it wants to shield its staff from any risk of infection


Pacific National (PN) says it is looking to provide truck drivers with their own amenities at its terminals to lower the risk of any infectious contact with its staff during the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic.

The rail giant says it has been in discussions with the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) to arrive at solutions to provide suitable toilet facilities for truckies without risking the health of freight train crews and terminal operations in its depots.

"The ongoing health and safety of Pacific National staff and customers at our depots and terminals are paramount," a PN spokesman tells ATN.

"The issue has already been resolved at our key rail terminals in Melbourne and Perth through the provision of separated toilet facilities.

"Separated facilities will be introduced at other Pacific National facilities across the country by close of business today to maintain strict social distancing practices.

"Like ports, rail freight depots and terminals act as major handling and distribution points across the country for large volumes of freight.

"For example, an 1,800-metre freight train hauling essential goods and supplies between rail terminals in Melbourne and Perth can transport in a single service more than 330 shipping containers.

"If there is an outbreak of coronavirus at one of these major rail freight facilities then the whole national transport supply chain will be severely disrupted."

Read about the order for rest-stops to remain open, here

The ATA responds, thanking Pacific National for changing its policy to allow truck drivers access to its toilets, changerooms and kitchens. 

The news comes just hours after the ATA called for Pacific National to immediately reverse its decision to ban truck drivers from accessing amenities at its sites across the country. 

"We are really pleased on behalf of all the professional men and women who drive trucks in this country at how quickly this issue was resolved," ATA CEO Ben Maguire says. 

"This is a perfect example of why the community must remember the importance for truck drivers to be afforded what the rest of us expect on a daily basis. 

"When we put out our call this morning to have the decision reversed, the ATA was immediately phoned by Pacific National executives who pledged to take immediate action." 


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