If you enter the interstate rail corridor to commit theft, you risk hefty fines, a gaol term, injury or even death.
That’s the message from Australian Rail Track Corporation following a spate of thefts of copper ‘linewire’ between Grafton and Casino in Northern NSW.
Copper ‘linewire’ is an important part of the signal infrastructure on the section of track between Grafton and Casino. When this ‘linewire’ is cut and removed by thieves, the signals revert to ‘failsafe’ which is STOP.
This causes obvious delays to freight and commuter trains using this section of line and ARTC repair crews are forced to attend the site and fix the line. This can take several hours depending on the extent of the theft.
ARTC CEO, David Marchant said that the replacement and repair of ‘linewire’ is an expensive exercise that affects commuters and freight forwarders alike.
“When thieves illegally enter the rail corridor and steal ‘linewire’ they cause significant delays to rail commuters using the line and cost freight companies thousands of dollars due to the disruption in service,” Mr Marchant said.
“There is no leniency when it comes to theft on the rail corridor; not from the courts, but more importantly, not from a freight train travelling at 80kph. A freight train moving at speed cannot stop on a dime and people entering the rail corridor illegally risk injury or death from being struck.”
“The bottom line is if you are caught by police trespassing on the rail corridor you face severe fines. If you are caught interfering with or stealing rail infrastructure you face gaol time. If you are caught by a freight train – you face much stiffer penalties,” he said.
ARTC will be installing Microtrax early in the New Year which is a new digital signal technology. However the message from ARTC remains clear – stay off the rail corridor or pay the penatly.