Warning in train death aftermath

THE death of a Southern Tasmanian woman following a train incident has reignited rail safety concerns.

The 62-year-old woman was struck by a train at a level crossing in Claremont on Thursday while walking her dog.

TasRail has been providing support and counselling to the driver and staff involved.

Witnesses have said the woman did not appear to see the train.

According to TasRail, there are 500 level crossings across Tasmania and there have been four incidents this year where pedestrians have failed to stop at an active crossing.

This financial year there have been 71 incidents where cars have not stopped or given way to trains.

TasRail chief executive Damien White said his thoughts were with the woman's family.

``No amount of experience within the rail industry, however, lessens the devastating impact of a fatality on the network,'' Mr White said.

Rail, Tram and Bus Union Tasmania branch rail secretary David Payne said the train driver would be off work for some time.

``He's being well looked after,'' Mr Payne said.

``As a union, and a group of drivers, we continue to be frustrated with people's inattention around railway crossings.''

Mr Payne said Northern hot spots were on the Fingal line, and between Devonport and Penguin.

``People just don't seem to stop for trains in those areas,'' he said.

Mr Payne said the train involved in Thursday's incident was one of TasRail's new locomotives that had louder horns, and all warning equipment on the track was operational.

Mr Payne said there was about one death every five years in the state from train incidents.

``It's still way too many,'' he said.

TasRail will no longer operate in the Claremont area once Toll moves its operations to Brighton.

The incident came in the same week as International Level Crossing Awareness Day.

TasRail chief executive Damien White

TasRail chief executive Damien White

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