Early in the morning a north-bound freight train slammed into cattle that had wandered onto the tracks. Two were killed instantly and one had to be euthanized (fancy name for shot) on site by police.
Tranz Metro spokeswoman Cathie Bell is quoted as saying that the southbound trains to Wellington were cancelled and replaced by buses. This isn’t quite right. They did manage to get a couple of trains through late. It did mean that 1,000 commuters lost at least one productive hour of their respective days.
She goes on to say "It's very disruptive for our passengers and probably not very pleasant for the animals either”. No argument from me on both counts!
The local Carterton District Council will now speak to the farmer to see whether they will take further action. One media report says the cows pushed through a rotten gate. If there is negligence on the farmer’s part they will probably take it further. Maybe. If there’s no negligence then the issue will be left to be settled between rail company KiwiRail and the farmer.
Newcomers to town (called townies) are often criticised for complaining about or interfering with farming practices. This is possibly one example of the reverse.
As they say out here in the country: Where there’s livestock, there’s dead stock.