Passenger Rail, Safety, Standards & Regulation, Signalling & Communications

ATSB opens investigation over Queensland Rail worker death

Queensland Rail and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau will investigate the death of a track worker who was hit by a passenger train at Petrie railway station on Monday night.

Queensland Rail chief executive Nick Easy confirmed the man died after being struck by a passenger train while working in the rail corridor at 10:26pm on May 29.

“The employee was working as part of a track maintenance team and has sadly passed away,” Easy said. “I want to express my heartfelt sympathies to the man’s family and friends and Queensland Rail employees who I know will also be devastated by this incident.”

Petrie station is where the newly-opened Moreton Bay Rail Link joins the main South-East Queensland passenger network. The opening of the MBRL was delayed last year due to concerns over the line’s signalling system, with then-transport minister Stirling Hinchliffe saying the system initially installed was not capable of managing a junction “as critical as Petrie”.

Safety concerns were resolved throughout a lengthy investigation yielding dozens of applied recommendations, however, and the line was opened late last year.

It is not known at this time whether signalling played any role in the fatality.

Easy said QR was working with investigators to examine the cause of the incident.

The ATSB opened its formal investigation, with a preliminary report expected within 30 days.

Deputy premier and minister for transport Jackie Trad, quoted by the ABC, said: “Safety for our Queensland Rail workers is my absolute priority and there is a full investigation underway.”