I was upset to read about the Kerang train crash. For all my bitching, I love travelling by train. When it works, it’s clean, cheap, quick, comfortable. And safe — rail travel has a deserved reputation for being one of the safest ways of getting around: about five times safer than by car. Accidents involving the deaths of rail passengers are very rare, especially in Victoria.
Which just makes a multi-fatality rail accident all the more shocking, particularly only just over a year since the Trawalla crash. Obviously there will be investigations as to what happened, but initially it looks like a terrible mistake on the part of the truck driver.
While driver education plays a role, to my mind it’s pretty clear that there need to be upgrades to level crossings. While the Murray Valley Highway isn’t a major highway, it’s busy enough, and protecting trains from B-doubles using just flashing lights and bells obviously isn’t enough.
PS. Wednesday 7pm. You know something bad’s happened when the BBC ring you up: Australia crash highlights safety concerns