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Local News

Cane Train Cameras To Capture Risk Takers

Wilmar’s Herbert Transport Operations Manager Lindsay Wheeler standing in front of part of the loco fleet which now has front and rear cameras.  Image Supplied.  

Motorists are being urged not to take a risk around cane train crossings, with cameras fitted to all locos locally.  

Wilmar Sugar Australia has installed cameras on its Herbert locomotive fleet ahead of this year’s crush to record details of vehicles and pedestrians dicing with death by failing to give
way to cane trains at level crossings.

Images from cameras on the front and rear of cane trains will be made available to police for investigation of incidents, including near misses.

It’s the first time Wilmar – Australia’s largest raw sugar producer – has used this technology across a whole milling region.

Wilmar Transport Operations Manager Lindsay Wheeler said the video technology was the latest in a number of measures aimed at tackling unsafe behaviour at cane railway crossings.

The loco cameras are in addition to 15 fixed cameras installed at cane railway crossings throughout the Herbert region.

“There are about 150 road crossings intersecting cane railway lines in the Herbert region, so our locos encounter vehicles and pedestrians on a regular basis,” Mr Wheeler said.

“We’ve now fitted all 26 locos in the Herbert with cameras after trialling the technology on two locos last year.

“This technology will allow us to supply police with time-stamped footage of specific incidents to assist with their investigations.”

Night-vision mode means the cane train cameras will record clear footage even in low-light situations.

General Manager Cane Supply and Grower Relations Paul Giordani said the loco camera technology had been implemented in Wilmar’s Herbert region first due to the high number of local road crossings.

"We want to get the message out that if you fail to give way to a cane train, we will be recording your details and passing them on to police,” Mr Giordani said.

“Racing cane trains across intersections is foolish and dangerous because trains can’t come to a quick stop. It’s always up to the motorist to give way.

Mr Giordani said Wilmar hoped that this camera technology would contribute to safer Wilmar cane train corridors for both loco drivers and the public.

He said the planned start date for the Herbert mills was 25 June and cane trains would soon be running around the clock. He urged locals and visitors to take care around cane rail corridors, and always give way to cane trains.

Wilmar is Queensland’s third largest rail network owner-operator. The company’s cane rail network spans more than 1600km – roughly the distance from Cairns to Brisbane – and
includes 200 bridges, 700 sidings and 470 road crossings.