Full cane train bins on their way to Farleigh Mill were yesterday strewn down the side of an overpass after two locomotives had a head-on collision near Habana.
Full cane train bins on their way to Farleigh Mill were yesterday strewn down the side of an overpass after two locomotives had a head-on collision near Habana. Amanda Balmer

Cane locos hit in head-on

TWO cane trains bumped in a head-on incident near Habana, just north of Mackay, yesterday afternoon.

Cane bins were derailed, spilling cane down the side of an overpass and many were left warped and twisted by the impact.

Neither loco was derailed.

One locomotive was pulling up to 80 bins loaded with chopped sugarcane billets to Mackay Sugar's Farleigh Mill, north of the city, when it came into contact with another locomotive travelling the opposite direction on the same line.

The second loco had been hauling a rake of empty cane bins.

The driver of each train was taken to hospital by ambulance, but both were released later.

Their assistants, who rode with them, were unharmed.

Police and Queensland Fire and Rescue Services attended the crash on private property off Habana-Yakapari Road.

But it was left to Mackay Sugar crews to begin the clean-up last night.

Cane supply manager Dave Langham said the investigation was now under way into how two trains managed to come into contact head-to-head.

“The trains going in and out travel on the same line - it's a matter of co-ordinating passing points,” Mr Langham said.

“I think with the systems we have in place and the investigation, we will show we have a safe system.

“It could have been a lot worse.

“Thankfully neither loco was derailed but there has been some damage to both of them,” Mr Langham said.



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