Kelvin saw it coming
KELVIN Eising saw it coming.
Almost one week after the Rockhampton chef predicted a tilt train would collide with a car in the city centre, his prediction came true.
After a year living above O'Dowd's Irish Pub on the corner of Denison and William streets, he knew it was a case of when, not if, there would be a crash.
Yesterday morning about 2.10am, Kelvin woke to the sound of crunching metal as a tilt train crashed into a Toyota LandCruiser ute outside the pub.
He grabbed his camera and went outside to the balcony to find the ute crushed by the locomotive.
Kelvin said: "It was absolute mayhem.
"First, we had the ambulance pull up and then it wasn't long before several police cars turned up as well.
"It was just lucky the train was only going 20km an hour - it could have been much worse.
"I heard they were just young guys in the car, and driving around at that time of night, they probably had the music up loud.
"They wouldn't have heard any horns, and I didn't hear any either."
Kelvin said he had been worried for months about the potential for an accident at that intersection, after seeing several near-misses in the past year.
He said: "The problem is, the trains just aren't lit up enough.
"If you're not directly in front of the head-lights, you wouldn't even know it's there.
"And with all the extra freight with the mining boom, you've got more flat trucks carrying steel and you can't see them."
Kelvin said not enough was being done to light up trains, suggesting something akin to Christmas lights running down the side of carriages and trucks to warn road traffic.
He said: "After it happened, and they had the site all cleared up, it was only minutes before the next freight train came through, and it didn't even pull its horn or anything.
"On a rainy, cloudy night, how are drivers supposed to see the train coming, or if it's already passed that street, how are they supposed to see the flat trucks if they have no light on them?"
This was Kelvin's letter to The Bully on February 17
HAVING seen countless amounts of near-misses at a level crossing in Rockhampton, I noticed that a vast majority of trains only have reflector strips on the flat cars.
This you might say is enough of a safety measure to prevent level crossing collisions.
The level crossing I am referring to is on the corner of Denison and William streets, this is a built up area with street lighting and still on a dark, rainy night you can hardly make out the train.
This is due to the fact that the trains don't have any side lights or tail lights operating.
Now take this train and put it at a level crossing in the middle of the scrub, and if the driver of a road vehicle misses the loco, the next thing they see is the side of a container 10 metres away, little or no time to avoid it.
There should be a mandatory maintenance roll out on all trains to have flashing strobe lights as side lights fitted to every flat car.
This is not only on freight trains, but also on passenger trains. I have photographs to prove the fact. Maybe a stitch in time will save lives.
Kelvin Eising, Rockhampton