Bridge Protection Beams Bear The Brunt As Careless Truckers Slam Into Rail Crossings

Protection beams
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Queensland Rail is urging drivers to remain attentive on the roads after releasing CCTV footage showing a series of trucks colliding with rail bridges and protection beams across South East Queensland.

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One of the incidents was spotted at Annerley Road in Dutton Park. According to the rail operator, they recorded nine trucks striking rail bridges and protection beams along some of the region’s busiest roads within a 48-hour period.

Striking a low bridge over rail lines risks harming not just the vehicle’s driver and passengers, as well as other motorists nearby, but it can also jeopardise the safety of train passengers and rail workers if the impact severely damages the critical rail infrastructure.

Photo credit: RAIL – Back On Track/Facebook

Queensland Rail has previously highlighted that collisions with rail bridges can lead to significant disruptions for drivers, causing over 200 hours of traffic delays each year, as well as result in costly fines due to the damage inflicted on the rail infrastructure.

Queensland Rail executive general manager Sarah Dixon commented that while only one of the incidents involved a vehicle hitting a rail bridge directly, the remaining eight saw vehicles strike protection beams, preventing them from damaging the bridges. 

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She acknowledged that thanks to the protection beams in place, impacts to rail services were minimal, as each protection beam strike would have been a bridge strike without that infrastructure.

Ms Dixon described the spate of bridge and protection beam strikes earlier this week as “worrying”. She mentioned that although no rail traffic was affected by the Countess Street protection beam strike in Brisbane’s CBD on Monday, there was a significant impact on road traffic after multiple lanes were closed for several hours.

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With bridge strikes causing major delays and costly damage, Queensland Rail hopes the release of this CCTV footage will serve as a wake-up call for drivers. The rail operator emphasises the importance of staying alert behind the wheel and being aware of vehicle height restrictions, especially when approaching bridges and overpasses. 

Published 23-April-2024