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A five-year-old boy was "easily" able to open the carriage doors of a moving train before slipping and falling on to the side of railway tracks, a report has found.
The boy fell from the Sunlander passenger train south of Cairns last December after slipping on water on the floor.
He was found when a motorist saw him walking near the Bruce Highway and meanwhile on the train, his mother had raised the alarm.
A Transport and Main Roads report, tabled in Queensland parliament, recommends Queensland Rail make the doors harder to open and install alarms that are triggered when one of the doors is opened while the train is moving.
According to the report, it appeared the boy had opened the door easily as the handle just needed to be pulled out and then down in a similar way to how the average house door was opened.
"Investigators were able to open the door with one hand with minimal force required for either action," the report said.
"It is considered that a child would be able to open the door using two hands with little difficulty."
Queensland Rail has advised new Sunlander trains will have more secure door handles.
And existing rolling stock, that will remain in service beyond 2014, will have a modern central door locking system installed.
It noted safety improvements must be balanced with the requirement for passengers to escape in emergency situations.
This article first appeared on www.brisbanetimes.com.au
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