Port Lincoln council to reexamine train playground risk

TRAIN: Port Lincoln mayor Brad Flaherty in front of the train engine which was previously slated for removal on Tuesday.
TRAIN: Port Lincoln mayor Brad Flaherty in front of the train engine which was previously slated for removal on Tuesday.

Port Lincoln City Council will look again at the safety risk of the decommissioned train engine at the Train Playground following public outcry about its removal.

The council had done a safety and risk assessment of the train located at the playground on New West Road following an incident involving a child in March.

It announced on Monday a number of risks were identified and because of this it had decided to remove the train from the playground on July 7.

The train was to be bound for the ghost town of Farina in the state's north with the Farina Restoration Group to take ownership of it and put it on display.

A number of residents had shared their disappointment about the decision online following the announcment and a Change.org petition had been created to save the train with nearly 500 signatures by midday Wednesday.

Port Lincoln mayor Brad Flaherty announced the following day the decision to remove the train from the playground has been deferred with a motion put forward for the July meeting to reassess the risk assessment.

Mr Flaherty said the council had heard there were public concerns about the train's removal and would examine if there were strategies that could be implemented.

"We will defer (the decision) for a bit and have a reexamination of the risk," he said.

The news has been welcomed by local parent Ramona MacFarlane who has been among those criticising the council's initial decision to remove the engine.

She said it was good that the council had taken public concerns on board.

"As a council representing the people, that's what they should be doing," she said.

"They should make it so they can have their safety standards met but don't remove it."

The train has been at the playground since 1983, the space was previously occupied by a steam locomotive that has since been restored by the Pichi Richi Railway.

Before coming to Port Lincoln the engine was built in the 1950s for the Lakewood Firewood Company in Kalgoorlie before being taken over by Commonwealth Railways and was used for shunting at the Port Augusta workshop.

Mr Flaherty said the steel tube 'play train' in the same park would still be removed as it did not conform with playground equipment safety requirements.