Industry Infrastructure, Queensland, Rail industry news (Australia, New Zealand)

Queensland Rail encourages caution around low bridges

Queensland Rail bridges and protection beams were hit nine times in 48 hours prompting an urgent warning for drivers of trucks, buses, and caravans to watch where they’re going.

Queensland Rail Executive General Manager of Assets Sarah Dixon said the spate of bridge and protection beam strikes between Monday 15th April and Tuesday 16th April was worrying.

“Nine hits in 48 hours due to careless driving is shocking and frustrating,” Dixon said.

“Thankfully, only one of these was a vehicle striking one of our rail bridges, the remaining eight incidents saw vehicles strike protection beams, stopping them in their tracks before they could damage a rail bridge.

“Thanks to protection beams in place at these locations, the impacts to rail services were minimal.

“Each protection beam strike would have been a bridge strike if we hadn’t had this important infrastructure in place.

“When our bridges are struck, we immediately halt rail traffic to assess the damage to ensure it’s safe to run trains.

“We’re pleading with drivers of large vehicles, like trucks, caravans or loaded trailers, to plan their route, obey the road signs and signals and know their height.”

Dixon said while no rail traffic was impacted by the Countess Street protection beam strike on Monday the 15th of April there was a significant impact to road traffic.

“Frustratingly, the next day, another truck got wedged under the bridge at Logan Road, Buranda which stopped trains and caused delays to the Cleveland line while our crews worked quickly to assess and repair the damage,” she said.

“Bridge strikes were the cause of around 200 hours of rail delays last year and every strike has the potential to cause harm to drivers and the public. They are completely avoidable if drivers pay attention and plan their route.”

Dixon said every low clearance bridge was fitted with signage with many featuring extra preventative measures ranging from protection beams to height chimes.

“We’ve invested $15.5 million to install bridge protection beams on approach to 14 high priority bridges across South East Queensland to prevent over-height vehicles from hitting bridges and to minimise train delays,” she said.

“We’ve also installed 42 bridge impact detection systems which include sensors and CCTV cameras that automatically detect incidents and alert us so we can quickly respond.”

Apart from causing serious risk to road users and delaying passenger trains, motorists who damage rail infrastructure can be fined up to $1,238 and four demerit points and, if the matter goes to court, the maximum penalty for causing damage to rail infrastructure is 80 penalty units (approximately $12,384).

If drivers are involved in, or witness a bridge strike, it should be immediately reported to Queensland Rail using the telephone number on the identification plate fixed to the bridge or by calling Emergency Network Control on 1800 079 303.​

1 15 April 2024 Annerley Road, Dutton Park Protection beam
2 15 April 2024 Pine St, Wynnum Protection beam
3 15 April 2024 Countess St, Brisbane CBD Protection beam
4 15 April 2024 Dixon St, Wulkuraka Protection beam
5 16 April 2024 Countess St, Brisbane CBD Protection beam
6 16 April 2024 Logan Rd, Buranda Bridge strike
7 16 April 2024 Muriel Ave, Rocklea Protection beam
8 16 April 2024 Annerley Rd, Dutton Park Protection beam
9 16 April 2024 Pine St, Wynnum. Protection beam