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No emergency plan for Boggabri and Maules Creek bridge

Sep 23, 2015Loco Express

The Loco Division has been forced to act after Pacific National failed to provide emergency and safety information about its Boggabri and Maules Creek viaduct despite months of requests.

Pacific National members have been requesting the company provide procedures, interface agreements and more training as there are deep safety concerns over the viaduct and the fact there is no escape route should an emergency occur.

The inaction has forced the Loco Division to act has on behalf of members, seeking intervention by work cover and the Rail Regulator.

The track, jointly built by Boggabri and Maules Creek coal companies, is privately owned and maintained. The 1km viaduct built on 5metre high steel piers across a flood plane was built with, it would seem, no walkways, and no consideration given for emergency situations. To top it off the area has several communication black spots.

In an email dated 11th September to the RTBU, PN management stated

There is not an Emergency Management Plan that deals with the specific issue of evacuation from the viaduct, however, we have agreement from both Boggabri Coal and Maules Creek Coal that they would assist with such an evacuation if required, through the provision of Elevated Work Platforms to safely extract our train crews.   We are also continuing to work with ARTC on the issue of communication black spots within the Gunnedah Basin.”

Members will be kept updated as this issue progresses.

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