Speaking to the Gazette during Rail Safety Week, Rail Tram and Bus Union WA secretary Phil Woodcock said trespassing, particularly in the Kwinana industrial area and southern Cockburn, was putting lives at risk.
‘Right now, those areas aren’t really that hard to access,’ he said.
‘There’s wire fences but they’re easy to climb over and lighting is poor, so people are hard to spot.
‘What these people have to remember is that they could be killed.
‘It’s an unnecessary risk for little gain and it’s unfair on everybody, including the drivers, who are just going about their jobs.’
With more than 1000 near-misses on Australian railway lines each year, Tracksafe Foundation patron Tim Fischer urged people to take care.
‘Every single death or injury on the rail network is avoidable if people remain vigilant and obey the rules,’ he said.
‘We therefore simply cannot and will not let this issue fall off the radar.’
Issues over train line safety are particularly relevant to Cockburn, considering reports of off-road motorbikes using freight lines to cut from Coogee to Jandakot.
Constant public pleas for something to be done encouraged Cockburn Councillor Phil Eva to call for a report on a number of issues related to local train lines.
‘I’m getting calls all the time about motocross bikes using the tracks as a short cut, particularly near homes, where they’re cutting off the track back into residential areas,’ he said.
‘These rail reserves are proving too easy to access.
‘I’d like to see barriers running adjacent to the track, with service entries for emergencies.’
Cockburn MLA Fran Logan said the areas were also popular dumping grounds.
‘It’s not a question of whether you can get in there; you can,’ he said. ‘There’s been times when rubbish has been left on the tracks.
‘Trains are coming at quite a clip so they’re not going to have time to stop.’