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Monday, June 11, 2012

Auckland rail deaths III

A man killed after being hit by a train in Mt Albert today was understood to have been walking along the tracks.

Don't know how many times I have to say it...

The policy forever has been to leave all the rail lines unfenced. This is a result of officials not caring how many people die, the companies operating the system not caring how many people die, and underfunding by local and central government so that the question is never raised.

The fact is that if you are going - as Auckland is - from a couple of trains an hour on the lines to one every five minutes then two important and unavoidable consequences follow: the lax attitude to fencing off the tracks is going to result in more pedestrian deaths and the resistance to getting rid of level crossings will result in longer road traffic and pedestrian delays (which add to frustration and make running the barriers more likely).

Fencing off the tracks and elimination of level crossings is one in the same thing and should be approached together. The fencing will probably be less than the cost of the level crossing works, and it will all be a very expensive exercise - but a necessary one. Auckland can't continue to run even the number of services it has now without regular loss of life - and the future will be worse. How many more people will need to die before one of the multitude of agencies responsible for the Auckland trains does something?

Today's incident is the latest in a series of accidents involving trains in Auckland recently.
In April Simondrai Robson died after falling under a train at Ranui train station.
Police said Robson fell under the train while leaving the platform.
The same month a woman broke her ankle after being dragged along the tracks near St Lukes Rd after her bike became entangled with a train.
In February a woman died after being hit by a train while walking along railway tracks near New Lynn.
In December a person died after being hit near Middlemore Hospital.



At 11/6/12 12:23 pm, Blogger Rich said...

I have no sympathy - if people want to walk on railway tracks, they'll get hit and killed. It should be obvious.

Maybe when someone gets killed on the tracks, they should just keep the trains going and let the rats eat the remains.


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