A Sydney railway platform where a baby narrowly escaped disaster on Sunday is one of many in the city that slopes toward the tracks.
CCTV footage captured the moment when the baby girl’s pram rolled onto the tracks while her family were looking in the other direction.
The baby girl’s grandfather then rushed after the stroller and jumped onto the tracks, narrowly missing an oncoming freight train.
Today, the girl’s uncle, Parminder Singh, said the experience had been tough on the family.
“When I saw the video it was quite shocking. But I just don’t talk to them about it because it’s quite stressing for everyone.”
The platform – like many others at older train stations – slope towards the track, for drainage.
Tony Eid of Sydney Trains said it was due for an upgrade.
“This station is one of those stations where when it gets an upgrade it will slope towards the middle,” he said.
Sydney Trains spends around $5 million per year on platform surface improvements, which reduces the slope of around ten platforms every year.
All new or significantly upgraded stations are now built with platforms that slope toward the centre.
There have also been near misses in other states. In 2009, a pram rolled onto tracks off a Melbourne platform and was hit by a train. Miraculously, the baby was uninjured.
While most new train stations now slope away from tracks, Acting Superintendent Daniel Wiggins, of NSW Police, said the message to parents was clear.
“Please always maintain a firm grip and apply the brakes,” he said.