Putting Lives at Risk

Media release > 24th October, 2017
Image Caption: A GWA employee carries out work on one of the iron ore trains. At an average weight of 5250 tonnes fully loaded, this highlights the sheer size of a train compared to a person / light vehicle and the serious risk it poses to any members of the public interacting with them.

SIMEC Mining and GWA would like to remind the public of the extreme dangers of interacting with train lines after several incidents of vehicles and pedestrians illegally crossing the tracks.

Train drivers have had to be increasingly alert after pedestrians and vehicles were spotted illegally crossing the tracks at non-designated points, failing to stop at crossings and, on another occasion, trespassing within the fenced rail corridor near town.

SIMEC Mining General Manager Operations, Greg McMillan, reminded the public of the need to “swear by safety” and think about the potential consequences of our actions.

“Taking risks such as these, which result in an interaction between the general public and trains, could end in disaster,” he said.

“People have been killed from rail crossing collisions in Australia, so we don’t want a local community member to become a statistic.

“We urge everyone to stay out of the rail corridor area; only cross train lines at designated crossings; always stop at level crossings to check for trains; and never cross while the crossing lights are flashing and the boom gates are closed.”

Mr McMillan said there had unfortunately been numerous train‐related incidents over recent years, including vehicles crossing the tracks illegally; vandalism of surrounding fencing; trespassing within the rail corridor; and interference with trains.

He said the safety of residents was his utmost concern. However, SIMEC Mining would not hesitate to involve authorities and pursue these matters further if it was the only course of action to convey the severity of such actions and the likely consequences.

“As a result of these incidents, we have increased our patrols and surveillance of the train lines for trespassing and illegal activity,” he said.

“We just hope that it doesn’t take a serious injury or fatality – which will have impacts right throughout our community, not just on the individual – for people to realise that this behaviour is extremely dangerous and life‐threatening.”

Anyone who may have information relating to any train‐related incidents is encouraged to contact Whyalla Police on 131 444.


Sean Kelly (SIMEC Mining Media and Communications Manager)

(08) 8640 4206


0411 054 643

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