Queensland Rail staff have battled the elements as well as a group of venomous locals to repaint the South Pine Bridge. The bridge allows Caboolture line, Sunshine Coast line, and Queensland Rail Travel’s long-distance trains to cross the South Pine River at the border of Strathpine and Bald Hills.
As well as dealing with safety and environmental concerns associated with working in a river precinct, the Queensland Rail team also had to cope with flooding and the large number of brown snakes which inhabit the area.
Queensland Rail Network SEQ Acting Group General Manager, Rory MacManus, said the team working on the job used their initiative to keep their workplace safe.
“Brown snakes in the area posed a very real danger to our staff and site visitors,” Mr MacManus said.
“To ensure a safe workplace was maintained, the team slashed the grass in the paddock regularly, and they also acquired ‘snake charmers’.
“The snake repeller units are solar-powered and emit an ultrasonic pulse, which snakes apparently feel as a vibration transmitted through the ground, making them alert to possible danger.
“The team said the units seemed to make a difference, as they had less encounters with the local reptiles after their installation.”
At one stage, floods damaged the scaffolding used for the project, which put the job on hold for three weeks.
Despite the setbacks, the team from Queensland Rail’s Sunshine depot managed to complete a full repaint of the bridge and undertake other maintenance work.
“The team put four separate coats on the bridge, and much of that work had to be hand-painted with a brush,” Mr MacManus said.
“The project also involved some maintenance work to ensure the bridge performs in a reliable and safe manner in the years to come.”