Climate Protestors Block a Railway with Concrete, Trainjack a Coal Train

Stay off the tracks
“Stay off the tracks” – railway sign in Queensland, Australia. Kgbo [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

In two separate incidents, Extinction Rebellion protestors have attempted to disrupt coal transport in Queensland, Australia.

Protesters stop coal train in Brisbane

By AAP 1:13pm Apr 19, 2019

One protester is in custody and another was taken to hospital after activists stepped in front of a moving coal train headed for the Port of Brisbane.

The train driver was forced to slam on the emergency brakes after a group of protesters climbed onto the freight tracks in Wynnum on Thursday afternoon, police say.

“Then three men approached the carriages (and) one of them got up onto the carriage … the man wouldn’t come down,” a police spokesman told AAP on Friday.

About 2am on Friday, a woman activist chained herself to a concrete-filled 44-gallon drum placed on the same railway line in Wynnum West.

“She’s sat on the tracks and locked herself on,” the spokesman said.

Read more:

Two words for this – dangerous and irresponsible. Placing a heavy concrete obstacle on a train track endangers lives. Forcing a heavily laden coal train to apply emergency brakes could have caused a catastrophic accident.

96 thoughts on “Climate Protestors Block a Railway with Concrete, Trainjack a Coal Train

    • Though stupid and extreme, the aim of this act is not to “terrorise” any one. Please avoid using that term for everyone you do not agree with.

      • Though snipped from what was presented here, the second incident with the woman and the concrete block did not involve any trains. It was she who was taken to hospital , suffering from exposure after spending the night outside chained to a block of concrete.

        Apart from the irony of nearly freezing to death while trying to prevent the use of fossil fuels, it just shows the lack of basic survival instinct these folks have. They don’t know dress up warmly or check the weather forecast for Tmin.

        And they think they are qualified to lecture the rest of us about how to prevent “mass extinction”?

        Second irony, the trains probably go through Darwin.
        The main problem with Darwinian selection is that it takes several generations to take effect.

        • If you ask me, the Train shouldn’t have slowed, a couple of horn blasts and keep on going. You wouldn’t stop or even swerve for a Squirrel in the middle of the road would you? What do so for something with the mentality of a creature scarcely smarter than a Squirrel?

          • You are so right, Rah.

            I thought about the engine driver and said to myself, “gee, that could have been me…”

            Tomorrow, I am going to sign up to become an engine driver.

      • NO youre wrong. thats an act wishing to cause harm and possible loss of life and property damage on a huge scale.
        ask the poor train driver if he didnt feel sheer terror at the thought of being up front seeing his train possibly killing that daft SNIP who deserved to be harmed.
        if Id been the driver id have kicked the living SNIP outta her and I am an older female!
        these utter SNIP are going to be beaten senseless and maybe a few might become feral pig fodder if they meet an upset the wrong people.
        and frankly..I see that as no loss.
        my personal opinion of course but theres many who would agree down under.

        profanity isn’t allowed no matter how its purposely misspelled — Mod

      • Oh but Greggy-poo you’ve never been at the controls of a train, have you. It is sheer terror for the engineer who cannot stop 15000 tons. As the terrorist gets ground to hamburger. What an undeniably stupid bit of nit-picking you indulge in. Go play on the tracks, you vacuum-witted wiseacre. The screams will be muffled by brake shoes grinding.

        • I was on a train a few years ago where the poor driver had desperately tried to stop before hitting a determined suicide, to no avail. As we screeched to a juddering halt, we all heard the body parts bouncing up and hitting the underside of the carriages. A horrible experience. The various emergency services spent the next two hours clearing the track and we were then diverted to another train down the line. UK train drivers in these situations are given at least six months to recover I learned later and naturally some never do.

          • i had a friend who was a train dispatcher and he told me he had constant nightmares about running freight trains into passenger trains. He was never involved in any tragedy like that. Only in his dreams.

            I was also a train dispatcher and a station agent at one time, and I can guarantee you that the train crews are very tramatized when they hit someone on the tracks. There’s nothing they can do except watch it happen right in front of them.

            I recall one accident where a whole family, including four children were killed when they were struck by a train. Think about having to watch something like that and having that nightmare every night.

          • I was on one in the Northeast US where a jumper consummated her intention under our train, too. The crew got off, got back on saying “Yick!” and called the authorities. Yeah, we sat there until another train came that we got on, etc., but our crew mentioned they get 2 weeks off every time this happens. They just barely restrained themselves from giving each other a high-five! Goes with the territory. No point in getting mentally mussed because some damn fool got what they wanted.

          • Well, that accident where the four children were killed in the car, the engineer who hit them said he looked right into the fear-filled eyes of those kids as he smashed into them. He said he dreams about those eyes every night.

            I think something like that might mentally muss up a normal person. No high-fives on that train.

      • Blocking food and energy is a common tactic of war. So if one group of people is implementing war tactics on another group of people, specifically citizens, in an effort to politically intimidate the citizens, then what word describes it better than terrorism? Inept terrorism?

      • It is economic terrorism as it will condemn even those who do not believe climate scientists to be other that greedy selfish inept academic snobs to the same failures in power sources and hugely inflated energy costs as the moronic eco sub normals like these.
        If the case was sound they should have at least taken the companies to court and proved the climate science was correct beyond reasonable doubt. Since they claim the science is right beyond question it should be easy. In court it is clear the sins are being exposed in the US without Obama and his crony protection and now in Australia as well in a few cases which is why they do not do so.
        Since these idiots have made no attempt to go through the courts to prove their case it is terrorism pure and simple so do not try to dress it up as anything else.
        So if my aim is to lock up and starve these people to death for disrupting life and not to terrorise them it is fine with you as my aim is to stop the disruption not to hurt them and that is a mere side effect?

      • It doesn’t matter what their alleged aim is. What matters is what they do. They are terrorists because those are the tactics they choose.

    • The problem is the courts treat these terrorists like they were just precocious kids.

      It doesn’t matter how many lives are endangered or how much property is damaged/destroyed, the darlings mean well, and they have there hearts in the right place.

      Those who forced the train to put on it’s emergency breaks need to be charged the cost of replacing the damaged wheels.

    • Reminds me of the anti-war protester who lay down across the tracks in front of a Navy ammunition train in Concord, CA in 1987 and lost both legs for his trouble. The Navy’s strict rule for ammunition train operators was “Whatever happens, do not stop this train for any reason!” They also warned protesters that the train would not stop. “He chose … poorly.”

        • Won’t happen in Australia. They will be let off with a slapped wrist and be told not to do it again. I personally would like them to go to court and be convicted for trespass with intent to cause harm. Then let them try to find a job (Most employers require a police name check for a criminal record)!

          • Just read in the local paper that anti-adani protesters are saying they are in desperate straits and face bankrupcy because Adani is suing them for stopping coal trains. No doubt these protesters will now crowd fund to save whatever businesses they own.

          • A job?? Don’t be silly! They will live off the public purse for the rest of their miserable lives.

        • The drivers lives were no in danger, they sued for mental anguish, having been forced to drive over them … and won. Rightly. They have to deal with the consequences of this stupidity too.

          • I have to disagree, Greg. It’s frightfully easy to derail a trail. Bone is fairly soft, so it’s not likely, but it is definitely possible that it would derail the engine and cause a true disaster.

          • Greg why don’t you volunteer to pay for the repairs to the train that had to do an emergency stop. Back in the late 1990 in the US cost was about $50,000 per engine.

    • I am sure I posted before, the fine in New South Wales, a state south of Queensland, for trespass is AU$5000. But I agree, $150 isn’t a lot of money. A criminal record on the other hand is much more a deterrent.

        • Trespass on rail corridors in Aus is not only restricted to crossing tracks. You don’t have to cross the track to be fined for trespass, just be in the corridor, anywhere. So there would be other fines for criminal intent and damage, if convicted.

      • No, a criminal record is not a deterrent for these fanatics. It is , rather, a badge of honor.

    • Any wheel that locks up during that emergency stop is permanently destroyed. $150 wouldn’t even cover the cost of replacing one wheel.

      Having the wheel grind along the rail creates a flat spot on the wheel that can’t be ground out.

  1. It may be dangerous to risk derailing a coal train, but that’s nothing compared to bringing down Western Civilization… The ultimate goal of Extinction Rebellion.

    • Yes. They’re rebelling in order to make us extinct.

      Why aren’t they classed as a terrorist group yet?

      • You would never, ever see me hitting the brakes. “Sorry, I was leaning over and sneezing at the time I heard the thump, thump, thump, and screams.”

      • Because they’re pushing the New World Order agenda–otherwise known as “on the right side of history” to our wannabe overlords in Davos.

    • ‘bringing down Western Civilization’ sounds a little too negative, don’t you think? How about ‘Saving the Earth’? That sounds much more noble.

    • I recall (1987) when a group of protesters in Concord, CA severely underestimated the stoping distance of a train they were blocking.
      In addition to losing his legs, one fellow lost a suit for the mental anguish he caused the engineer who he forced to run over him.

      • Stopping distance for a fully loaded freight trains is measured in quarter mile increments. I’m assuming the coal train wasn’t going very fast yet, or it would have been past them long before it stopped, even with emergency braking.

        And for the record, applying emergence brakes is just that, an emergency. Trains have derailed before from emergency braking. It’s actually fairly common for there to be damage to couplings and equipment afterwards, and it ALWAYS damages the wheels.

        Have you ever had a shopping cart that had a wheel with a flat spot because at some point it got stuck and some idiot just kept pushing it around? Bump Bump Bump Bump. Now imagine a whole train like that.


  2. You all will like this. Spot on. We all have been researching this for a decade or more, climate Professor Mike Hulme’s book ‘Why we disagree about climate change’ was heralding these trade opportunities, and it is no different to the opportunities they all got frenzied over when they invaded Iraq. The climate thing is like a tool to lever change in legislation and trade structures in the direction that these multinationals want. Sucking money from the public into their own hedge funds in the Caribbean.

      • No, the left barely breed. If the right would just stop sending their kids to Marxist indoctrination camps, there would be no left left.

        Marxism is a zombie meme virus. If you stay away from them, you won’t get infected. If you get too close, you’ll become one of them.

        • Easier said than done as you do not know the agenda until you see it. I was considered an easy target as a seriously bullied mixed race fifties kid by an extremist Muslim group and if I had not been so fascinated by Orwell and the idea of brainwashing a whole population I do not honestly believe I would have realised what was going on in time to get away.
          I listened to a school lesson given on the environment and it was so brilliant brainwashing I think nine out of ten adults would have been got by it let alone impressionable kids.

      • pretty sure i saw one with the dozer moving forward to her at the time. you need alt media to get the news, not msm

    • I am not terrorized and I don’t think they are terrorists. There are plenty of laws to deal with public mischief, damage to property and violations of court orders. They do not deserve special treatment. They are not special.

      Let them prattle. Let them live by example – encourage that, actually. Nothing convinces like a viable example of a life well-lived.

      Don’t over-react. Apply the law systematically. Maybe at some point they will learn to vote, though I expect it will take some time. By then they will be conservatives.

      • Got to agree with you there Crispin. The whole point of activist-protesters is to attract attention. “Look at me, I’m holier than thou!”.

        They’re the ultimate trolls, which no one wants to know about so they pull stunts that can’t be ignored or fail to attract attention.

        By the time they realize they’re losers who don’t matter, and who no one who matters listens to, and that the world didn’t change, nor end, but persists as before, they’ll need to move out of mommy and daddies downstairs bedroom and find a job.

  3. These morons are lucky the trains were not actually “coal trains of death” as purported by James Hansen.

  4. Who is funding Extinction Rebellion?

    There are usually serious consequences for funding terrorism.

  5. Extinction of Sanity Rebellion.

    Extinction of Intelligence Rebellion.

    Extinction of Common Sense Rebellion.

    Whatever, they are leaving an important word out of their name.

  6. Live in a town in western Washington state with two refineries. Every couple of years, we get some environmental crazies chaining themselves to the tracks attempting to stop trains delivering Bakken crude. Last time, was during the worldwide protests in May 2016. That cost the county and the towns and cities that helped a lot to ensure security, plus there was a huge mess to clean up afterwards. The greenies aren’t the most fastidious people in this world.

  7. Terrorists by any other name are still terrorists. There are surely rich powerful people behind this movement and surely there will be criminal charges and lawsuits down the line.

    • If you refer to everyone as “terrorists” the word no longer has any meaning or value.

      Exactly who do you imagine was being “terrorised” by these actions.

      • “Exactly who do you imagine was being “terrorised” by these actions.”

        The, uh, train drivers?

        The left hate people who use real words to describe their actions.

  8. If the train derailed it could easily kill the driver and other innocent bystanders. These kind of terror activities really need to be deal with very harshly to send a clear message that attemped murder is NOT ok.

  9. “About 2am on Friday, a woman activist chained herself to a concrete-filled 44-gallon drum placed on the same railway line in Wynnum West.”

    Unless she is Russian or a serious weightlifting contender, she didn’t just carry that drum of concrete onto the tracks by herself.

  10. “Two words for this – dangerous and irresponsible. Placing a heavy concrete obstacle on a train track endangers lives.”

    The fact is that zealots don’t care about dangerous or irresponsible.

    This reminds me of the ‘war in the woods’ in BC when environmental zealots spiked trees in forested areas licensed by government for the purpose of producing timber. The spikes were driven deep and would cause saws to break up in the felling process or later in the milling process . This was both dangerous and irresponsible. The zealots did not care. Forest companies quickly bought spike detection equipment as government was unwilling to seriously apply the law and lock these people up.

  11. 2am on a Friday? HOw Christian of them to want to destroy and potentially kill and innocent. I guess they chose Friday because they knew most people would be sleeping in late.

    In New South Wales, trespass in tracks attracts an AU$5000 fine. These people should be held accountable and taken to court.

    But sense will not prevail in Australia. The Queensland ALP govn’t approved the Adani mine which is now a federal election issue along with climate change.

    Australia has got real dumb in recent years.

  12. The 44 gallon drum, even filled with concrete, would not have done much in the way of derailment of the train. Coal trains don’t travel that fast, up to 80kph, they just have a lot of mass. The front of the locomotives are fitted with a guard to move objects, mostly animals, off the line. The chassis rails and buffer plate are 4 – 6 thick solid steel.

    However, the fact they were able to do this is the worry. They would have had to have some fairly substantial vehicle to carry and situate the drum. The event was to show they could do it, not actually derail the train.

    • endless chain and a gantry frame to drop the drum onto a ute and backup to the line and roll it off, nothard at all

      or if they flogged the drum from somewhere it was used as a bollard? four blokes could lift it on anyway, maybe as few as two if they used trailer ramps n rolled it up.

      err thatd be country blokes
      youd need double for useless city nerds to do it, assuming they had the smarts to figure it out

      • Four blokes carrying a 44 gallon drum filled with concrete? Yeah I would say no on that. Go work out the mass. Would be the best part of 2.5 tonnes.

        • 4546.09 per imp. gallon
          44 = 200,028
          density of concrete 2.5-3.5g/
          500-700 kg (plus the weight of the steel drum, about 18kg)

          So 518-718 kg
          (1140-1580 lbs)

          • Somewhat a bit less. A gallon of concrete weighs about 18 pounds. 18 X 44= 792 pounds or 360 kilograms, roughly.

          • Did you account for it being imperial gallons?
            A 44 gallon drum in Oz is basically what we know as a 55 gallon drum in the US (53 gal US)

            So if you’re right about 18lbs/USgal, then the 44 imp. gallon drum would be about 434kg plus the 18kg steel drum itself, or 452kg total.

            Well anyway, not several tons, but too much for a coupla shielas.

    • If they could deliver a concrete-filled drum, they could as easily delivered a drum of explosives. There needs to be ZERO tolerance for these stunts, and the miscreants dealt with harshly to deter more of them.

  13. These idiots are forever being interviewed by the sympathetic media. One question I’d like to hear asked: “Do you own a mobile phone?” Do you understand the logistic involved in its production and sale?” Time to ditch their mobile phones and encourage their friends and supporters to do so. The same applies to wind turbines and solar panels. Emma Thompson tells us, after flying from LA to London to join the protests, that she would have flown a clean energy flight if there was one. Stupid woman.

    • Emma and her ilk could fly on solar powered dirigibles. The technology exists.

      It’s a little slow, but so are they.

  14. I worked in the rail industry for many years.

    Trains cannot stop quickly, even with emergency brake full on.
    Eg. a 1.8km 4000 tonne freight train at track speed (115 km/h) will need nearly 3km to stop.
    A large coal train is no different.

    100% idiots as they endanger the train driver and the public.

  15. Here in the UK one of Extinction Rebellion’s leading activists is Robin Boardman-Pattison, who turns out to be one of your typical attention-seeking permanent protester types.
    He was being interviewed by Adam Boulton on Sky News, when the interviewer said
    “You are just a load of incompetent, middle class, self indulgent people who want to tell us how to live our lives. That’s what you are.”
    The reply was “Millions of people are going to starve…..”
    Ultimately Mr Boardman-Pattison got very upset that the nasty interviewer had hurt his feelings, so he flounced out of the studio.
    You’d think that given the end of our civilisation is at stake, he’d have a bit more in the tank to counter that sort of attack. But no. Empty vessel.
    The interview is worth a watch so long as you don’t have any throwable objects within reach, or you might need to buy a new screen.

  16. These evironazis think they are entitled to force everyone else to do what they want, even though they are a tiny minority. Perhaps we need to remind them that we supposedly live in a democracy. One has to get suspicious about “leaders” who turn a blind eye to this sort of potentially dangerous behaviour. They were risking the lives of the train crew! This is reckless endangerment of life, which is a crime. For the pathetic appeaser politicians- please explain-how can you condone the deliberate risking of peoples’ lives who are just doing their job? Please explain.
    Do take note- the Nazis were born of the ultra green movement-they loved nature and animals, hated humans. Hitler was a vegan who loved his dog more than Eva Braun.

    • yeah so far no ones managed to find or list just who IS funding this. Id have a bet soros is somewhere as he usually is.

  17. Well, we’re back to “throw a fit until everyone stops.” To be accompanied by “throw a fit in court where everything comes to a stop.” We are not at the end. We are at the middle of the beginning of the battle of wills between childish and rational behavior.

  18. Two words for this – dangerous and irresponsible. Placing a heavy concrete obstacle on a train track endangers lives. Forcing a heavily laden coal train to apply emergency brakes could have caused a catastrophic accident.

    Suing the protesters and any organizations which incited them for the costs of the delay and emergency response should stop this fairly quickly. Just ask Jussie Smollet (being sued by Chicago for the $130,000 in police overtime costs to investigate his hoax hate crime).

    Sign prominently posted on the ski slopes on Mt. Hood (Oregon):

    If you leave the marked trails you or your estate will be billed for the cost of rescue or recovery.

    They can’t say they weren’t warned.

    • Adani IS suing the protesters and they are all now terrified that they will be made bankrupt. I just read it in the morning paper.

  19. My late father was a locomotive engineer. I have zero tolerance for the lunatics who take part in this type of sabotage. Lock them up and throw away the key.

  20. I feel for the engineer. I can’t even imagine what was going on in that person’s head. They KNOW what it could have been and I hope they are getting some help if needed.

    That being said, ‘let’s say that the worst happened in this scenario (I’m talking the train, not the humans involved..the worst would be the people died too)–the train derailed and dumped all that coal. Think about the environmental mess that would have caused.

    The problem with fanatics is that they don’t think of the mess they cause. They are so secure in their righteousness that they can’t see beyond the end of their collective noses. I would hope that judge hands down a sentence of community service on a rail yard–have them go work on a train for a while, give them some education on the folly they committed and the disaster that a quick thinking engineer who understood what was at stake had avoided. Let them get hands on knowledge that ONLY by the experience of a total stranger are they still breathing. Maybe, just maybe they’ll finally get an inkling that by acting foolishly, they would have caused an event of which they were unaware that would have been worse for the environment they claim to love than anything else.

  21. It seems no photos are available.
    Just how this concrete was placed on the track is very curious to me.
    It could have been extremely dangerous.
    Maybe the railway does not want anyone to see how it was done.

  22. try it on a rio tinto australia ore train.
    no engineers and been wondering how their blockage sensors work

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