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Train's dashboard camera captures motorcycle's demise, rider's near miss

By Ben Hooper
Train's dashboard camera captures motorcycle's demise, rider's near miss
A motorcyclist flees from an oncoming train, leaving his bike to get pulverized. Screenshot: 3AW Radio/YouTube

Feb. 17 (UPI) -- An Australian train driver's camera captured the moment a train plowed into a motorcycle after its owner narrowly jumped out of the way.

Colin Sharp, a driver for Victoria regional train operator V/Line, affixed a dashboard camera to the front of the train that was recorded last month on the Ballarat line near Ballan, northwest of Melbourne.

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The video shows a group of motorcyclists near the tracks while one of their group tries to push his bike across the tracks.

The motorcyclist appears to realize at the last moment that he isn't going to make it and jumps out of the way, but his motorcycle falls on the tracks and is struck by the train.

Sharp said the train had been traveling about 100 mph and even though he had applied an emergency brake, it had only slowed to about 87 mph when it struck the motorcycle.

"He was pushing the bike across the bridge, which was a pretty silly thing to do," Sharp told 3AW radio. "He's seen me [and] fumbled the bike trying to get the bike off [the tracks] and finally got some sense and decided to get himself off the track and leave the bike right where it was."

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Sharp said he initially feared the man was a goner.

"I didn't know what had happened to him at that stage, I'm glad he took the choice to jump off the side," he told 9News. "I think I could still hear the scrape of his boots along the side of my train."

He said the train was delayed for about 90 minutes following the Jan. 28 incident.

James Pinder, chief executive of V/Line, said nearly 300 near misses were recorded during the past year when people were sighted on or near the tracks.

"Trains approaching at high speed are quieter than expected -- and it can take nearly a kilometre [.6 miles] for a train to stop once the driver applies the brakes," Pinder said. "The possible effects can be traumatic for staff, customers and members of the community, and cause disruption to services on the rail network."

The camera that captured the footage was Sharp's personal camera, but V/Line officials said they are considering outfitting the trains with official cameras.

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