Chroming on our rail line 'the worst'

UNION officials have dubbed the Ipswich train line "the worst" for chroming in QR's suburban Brisbane network - with rail staff fearing for patrons and their own personal safety.

Australian Federated Union of Locomotive Employees state secretary Greg Smith said chroming - the inhalation of petrol, paint and other substances - is rife on the Ipswich line.

He said he had received many complaints from his union members about the chroming problem.

"It is problem that's getting worse - it's becoming a problem across the whole network," Mr Smith said.

"But the feedback I'm getting is that the Ipswich line is a particularly bad line.

"From the reports we hear it is the worst of all the Brisbane suburban rail lines."

"It used to be something that only really happened at night time, but now we're hearing reports of it happening at 6am in the morning."

Queensland Police said chroming was not illegal and police could only "move on" people caught doing it.

Mr Smith said rail staff were concerned the current laws were not tough enough to protect themselves or the public from passengers caught chroming.

"They might get told to move on, but half an hour later you will see them just hop on a different train half an hour later," he said.

"When they are high after chroming, they are unpredictable and you can't talk logic to them."

A spokesman for Translink said new legislation had been introduced to help QR transit officers to combat passengers who sniff inhalants on trains.

"Transit officers have the ability to issue fines and to eject someone from the train," the spokesman said.

"Government recently legislated to beef up these powers such that transit officers can be trained to detain people who cause a nuisance.

"In addition there are 54 dedicated members of the Queensland Police Service Railway Squad who routinely patrol the public transport network and respond to specific incidents, including people chroming on trains."

They said anyone who notices other passengers chroming on a train should alert a member of the train crew by approaching the guard or by using the internal intercoms in each carriage.

Rail Back on Track spokesman Robert Dow said there is a critical need for the introduction of real-time security cameras and a rail-specific emergency number for passengers to dob in problems on their carriages.

Translink said a Request for Information (RFI) regarding a proposed wireless system to live-stream CCTV images from train carriages closed in September, but there were no set timeframes for the proposal.

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