The mock crash exercise in August.
The mock crash exercise in August.

Driver charged after train hit

EMERGENCY Services in Warwick reaped the benefits of a recent mock car-versus-train exercise when they were called out to the real deal late on Wednesday night.

Just after 10pm a P-plater in a 2001 Toyota Camry collided with a freight train at the Canning Street crossing.

According to police reports it took the train nearly half-a-kilometre to come to a stop.

No one was injured in the crash, but the 20-year-old driver of the car has since been charged with driving without due care and attention and will appear soon in the Warwick Magistrates Court.

A Queensland Rail spokesperson said the train with two locomotives and pulling 38 wagons of grain was travelling from Bungunya near Goondiwindi to the Port of Brisbane.

“The crossing is protected by a give-way sign. Reports suggest that neither the driver of the car nor the two train drivers were injured in the incident,” he said.

The train was delayed for several hours due to Queensland Rail protocols, which required an engineer to come from Brisbane to inspect the train and to certify it was able to continue on its journey.

In August, emergency services faced an identical scenario.

Fortunately however, last month’s incident was just a mock exercise organised by Southern Downs Steam Railway to ensure all necessary parties were prepared in the event of such an emergency.

Lessons learned at that training would have been fresh for emergency service crews at Wednesday night’s incident.

Southern Downs Steam Railway president Christine Ford said she was pleased her training exercise had proved its worth.

She told the Daily News she had “no idea it had happened”.

“But it’s wonderful that at least the exercise was useful. It makes it very worthwhile,” she said.

“While we put it on for our own benefit, it was also for the benefit of the emergency services.

“You can be taught to do things on paper, but doing things practically is so different and that’s why we did it,” Ms Ford said.

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