Woman sues rail giant for $550,000 after alleged slip

A ROCKHAMPTON woman is suing rail freight giant Aurizon for almost $550,000 after she allegedly slipped on a thick layer of railway ballast and twisted her ankle.

The woman, 45, claimed she was instructed to perform a shunting operation, whereby a broken-down diesel locomotive needed to be moved from one railway line to another.

During this operation the woman claimed the thick layer of ballast gave way beneath her right foot, causing her ankle to twist.

She claimed she then fell and slid down the ballast.

The woman was employed at Aurizon as a train driver when the fall happened in 2010.

According to documents submitted to the District Court at Rockhampton, the woman was already performing other duties as an assistant driver of an electric locomotive travelling from Bluff to the Gregory Mine near Tieri.

She claimed employees at Aurizon's West Rockhampton Control Centre instructed the woman and another employee to drive their train towards the crew yard.

She alleged she was instructed to bring the train she was in to a stop, detach two front locomotives from it and then secure them by pulling their hand brakes.

In order to access the hand brakes, she had to walk along steep ballast. It was after she completed that task that she claimed she slid down the ballast.

The woman claimed Aurizon was responsible for her injuries because the company did not advise her the ballast was steep and loose.

She accused Aurizon of failing to properly supervise her and her colleague during the operation to ensure their safety.

The woman is suing Aurizon for medical damages, past and future economic losses and other costs.

The Morning Bulletin contacted Aurizon but the company refused to comment as the claim is before the courts.



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