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Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Another one

And another one bites the dust...
NZ Herald:
A man is in a critical condition after being hit by a train in the Auckland suburb of Avondale.
Police said the man was hit by the passenger train at a railway crossing on St George Road about 12.10pm.
Auckland Transport said all western line services between Avondale and New Lynn have been suspended due to the incident and delays should be expected on the line.
[...] Firefighters were called to help remove the man from under the train.

I blogged back in June when someone got bowled in Mt Albert:

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?

Still waiting.



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