'Slow the hell down': Grieving Ngaruawahia mum's plea to train drivers after daughter's death

A Coroner says an 11-year-old girl hit and killed while playing on a rail bridge could have survived had the train been travelling more slowly.

Moareen Rameka's grieving mother agrees - but she knows just how hard it is to keep Ngaruawahia's children away from the fatal attraction.

Every month, Juanita Lines leaves a new photo or message at a makeshift memorial where her daughter died.

She said she'd on many occasions spoken to Moareen - who was well cared for by her large family - about the dangers of the train tracks, and repeatedly told her never to go on the rail bridge.

She described Moareen's death as "the worst thing you could ever go through".

One of the last things Moareen heard was the horn sounded by a train travelling towards her on the rail bridge at 60km/h.

The friend she was playing with jumped just in time. Moareen was hit just a few metres from safety.

"These trains need to slow the hell down," Ms Lines said, standing next to the memorial, a thin mesh fence all that was between her and the train track.

"Slowing the trains down would've been awesome, because that might have given her those seconds to jump."

Coroner Gordon Matenga said Moareen Rameka may have survived had the train been going even slightly slower.

While he said there wasn't just one solution, limiting train speeds to 50km an hour through the town could give anyone in trouble a few crucial seconds to get off the tracks.

KiwiRail is looking into it, but says slowing trains down can create other problems.

"What we need to consider is a whole lot of other risks as well," acting chief executive Todd Moyle said.

"We have slowed trains down before we've found that people try and jump on the trains and do things like that, and we also have stone throwers and things."

In the past, KiwiRail has installed CCTV cameras, fences and had patrols, but they say it's hard to keep people off the bridge - especially from jumping off into the water below over summer.


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