The article was written by John Stokes
FREIGHT trains travelling through Goodwood and surrounding suburbs should be limited to 40km/h for residents' safety and to reduce rail noise, an Unley councillor says.
Councillor Bob Schnell has urged the council to lobby for the speed restriction after correspondence between ratepayers and Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) revealed freight trains could travel at 90km/h between Goodwood and Mile End.
Cr Schnell labelled the speed "totally outrageous" and said the trains should travel at the same speed as cars on nearby roads.
"ARTC must respect the regions through which they travel," Cr Schnell told the Eastern Courier Messenger.
"We are not talking about a couple of trains a day.
"There are 12-20 freight trains per day that rumble and squeak their way way through the suburbs."
The speed of freight trains has been limited during the $110 million Goodwood Junction rail project to separate the Noarlunga and Belair lines.
The project started last October and is due to finish by the end of this year, when the trains are expected to return to speeds of about 70km/h.
Cr Schnell said the track was littered with pedestrian and level crossings.
Commuter trains travelled at between 40km/h and 50km/h.
"I ask that ARTC review their speed limits in suburban areas," Cr Schnell said.
"Common sense and decency must prevail."
An ARTC spokesman said the railway line was designed to handle speeds of up to 90km/h and faster trains reduced traffic waiting times at level crossings.
"Reinstating speeds for freight services is in line with the intent of the (SA Transport Department) project to improve freight efficiency and transit times through South Australia as the Goodwood Junction section of track serves part of the main interstate freight corridor between Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth," the spokesman said.
"The track in this location is safe and fit for purpose."
He said the track was inspected at least once every four days and level crossings were set up for trains travelling up to 90km/h.
He said ARTC would be checking sight lines at all affected pedestrian crossings.
Unley Council would not comment on the matter.
"(The) administration is not currently in a position to make comment regarding the speed of train travel in the City of Unley," a spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.