Warrnambool line one of worst for livestock fatalities

THE Warrnambool district was among the top four areas in Victoria for collisions between trains and livestock last year.

V/Line said three cattle and four sheep were killed by its trains in the Warrnambool district during 2012.

V/Line released the accident details as part of a campaign to reduce the number of livestock being struck and killed by trains. 

It said 127 animals, including cattle, sheep, goats and dogs, were killed after wandering onto railway reserves and tracks last year. 

That figure was a 48 per cent increase on 2011, when 86 animals were struck and died. 

The 127 animals killed in 2012 comprised one horse, 11 cattle, 36 sheep and 64 kangaroos killed. 

V/Line acting chief executive officer Ross Pedley said there was little that could be done to reduce the number of kangaroo strikes.

However, neighbouring land owners and farmers had a significant role to play in ensuring their livestock did not wander into railway reserves. 

“We are writing to landowners in areas where trains have previously hit livestock and distributing brochures outlining their responsibilities,” Mr Pedley said. 

He said previous campaigns had significantly decreased the number of cattle struck by trains on the Warrnambool line. 

“We understand the need for farmers to be able to move their stock across railway tracks,” he said.

“We ask for farmers to plan ahead and give us a call to check there will be no trains in the area.” 

Other areas in Victoria where livestock hits were most frequent in 2012 were: 

n between Ararat and Ballarat, with 18 sheep killed; 

n Bairnsdale, with seven sheep killed; 

n Swan Hill, with six sheep killed. 

V/Line said the accidents with livestock often damaged trains and removed them from service until repaired — inconveniencing passengers and costing the taxpayer money.

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