Cane train locomotive drivers throughout Queensland face up to 10 near hits with cars and trucks a day.
One driver said the stress of actually colliding with a vehicle had a huge impact on people working on the trains.
“When they run through red lights, people don’t realise how long we take to pull up,” driver Christine Malaponte said.
“If we’ve got a load of 120 full bins, that’s over 900 tonnes. It takes us maybe a kilometer to pull up, even longer.”
She said if drivers saw a red light they should stop.
“We don’t want to have to be in an accident and hurt someone. We don’t want that guilt on us because it’s not our fault that we’ve hit someone.
She said it was just people being impatient who could not stop and wait for the train to go through.
“It is pretty stressful. Especially if we see the red lights coming on and will still see cars coming towards us at full speed.
“If they don’t stop we’re probably going to hit them,” she said.
Ms Malaponte grew up on a cane farm with rail tracks running through it. She had no idea that one day she would be driving trains on those tracks.
“It is a bit different,” she said.
“When people ask me what I do for a job, I say I’m a train driver, and they say, ‘no you can’t be’.
“It is rewarding. Especially having grown up on a cane farm. I guess it’s good to still be in the sugar industry.”