MSF Sugar will launch a new cane rail safety campaign on Friday to highlight the need for the public to be vigilant during the current cane crushing season.
The campaign features television and radio advertisements, and print elements including a bumper sticker, Have You Seen A Cane Train Yet? There will also be a heavy digital presence.
MSF Sugar CEO Mike Barry said the campaign was designed to highlight to North Queensland residents and visitors that the cane crushing season was underway, and the importance of being vigilant when crossing the cane rail network.
MSF Sugar owns and operates 800km of the North Queensland cane rail network, with active and passive level crossings in residential and rural areas.
“Our rail network sits dormant for six months of the year, and becomes active for the last half of the year during the cane crushing season which generally runs from June to December, depending on the milling region,” Mr Barry said.
“This creates a level of complacency among motorists.
“Our cane rail network is critical to the industry and the safety of our employees and general public is paramount.
“We hope the public will join us to help make sure the cane crushing season is a safe one, by remaining aware and alert when crossing the rail network.”
An incident between a cane locomotive and a B-double truck at Currajah Park, south of Wangan, on Monday afternoon has reinforced the need for driver vigilance.
MSF Sugar South Johnstone Mill Manager Kim Kendall said the driver of the B-double truck performed a U-turn to exit the picnic area and did not realise he was crossing an active train line.
“A fully loaded locomotive rounded the bend and despite sounding the horn, the loco driver was unable to stop in time to avoid the collision,” Mr Kendall said.
“Our driver did a terrific job in reacting to the incident to minimise the conflict, however, considerable damage was done to both the locomotive and a trailer of the B-double truck.
“Fortunately, no-one was injured in the incident.”
Mr Barry said as a significant contributor to the region’s economy through its growing, milling and processing operations, MSF Sugar was proud to develop and deliver the safety awareness campaign.
The television advertisement was filmed in the Gordonvale area and was developed with the support of the Queensland Ambulance Service.
“We are confident the new safety campaign will promote cane rail safety and contribute to a successful cane crushing season,” Mr Barry said.
• An average locomotive weighs between 18 and 40 tonnes.
• This weight increases to 600T when carting a full load of bins.
• The stopping distance for a locomotive under steam is approximately 250 metres (subject to a dry track).
• Treatments at level crossings vary between active (flashing lights) and passive (give way signs).
• Cane trains operate 24 hours a day during the season.
NOTE TO THE EDITOR:
A copy of the new television commercial is available on request and can be previewed at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLePqNxiJz2pTb8GwdPB3sVNJ8KgdiXAhX.
For more information or to arrange an interview with a loco driver please contact:
MSF Sugar Communications Manager
Mob: 0417 043 954