Sleep-deprived Ipswich residents air noise complaints

AN ANTI-coal train lobby group has called for a curfew on coal wagons travelling throughout the night in suburban Ipswich after a rising number of noise complaints.

Stop Brisbane Coal Trains spokesman John Gordon said the noise from coal trains travelling along the Ipswich line between 8pm and 6am was disrupting some residents' sleep.

Mr Gordon said one resident told him the diesel engines had woken the household at 2.30am and 4.30am in recent weeks.

The additional noise complaints are down to a higher frequency of coal trains travelling through Ipswich to the Port of Brisbane.

"SBCT sources on the ground are reporting increased coal train traffic that is now running 24/7 through Toowoomba, Ipswich and Brisbane," Mr Gordon said.

"We are fielding reports in each of these centres of coal train movements at all hours of the night and morning.

"SBCT has been out to Toowoomba and Jondaryan the last few days to check up, and the trains are shuffling down the Toowoomba range like a veritable conga line."

A spokesman for the Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said there had been no complaints about coal train noise.

The spokesman added there would be no changes to current operations.

Ipswich MP Ian Berry said he would look into any possible action, but said coal had been hauled along the Ipswich line for many years.

"It may be possible but it's something that needs to be investigated if there would be additional costs," he said.

Mr Berry said the Ipswich line had a long history of coal transport, with many generations putting up with the louder coal engines.

Mr Gordon said the noise pollution created by the older diesel engines was becoming too much for some residents.

"The noise generated by these behemoths has to be heard to be believed. It is horrendous," he said.

"It is causing severe sleep deprivation and, indeed, acute mental stress and illness in affected residents."

SBCT has launched a campaign to have all coal train wagons covered with veneer to prevent coal dust escaping while on route. The group also appeared before a Senate inquiry into the health impacts of coal dust.