Exactly a year to the day after a man died when he was struck by a steam train at Kokiri, train enthusiasts on Sunday were seen standing on or near train tracks for another steam train visit.

Mainline Steam locomotive Ka942 visited Greymouth on Saturday, a year after Kaiata photographer Gregory Duncraft was struck and killed by the train after standing too close to the tracks.

However, it seems some people have failed to learn from the death, with reports of photographers racing the train and standing too close to the tracks as it steamed out of Greymouth on Sunday.

Mainline Steam general manager Gary Farquhar said officials had gone out of their way to ensure the safety of their passengers, but said the main issue was trespassing on train tracks.


"One thing we can't control is the public walking on to the tracks," Mr Farquhar said.

Short of fencing off the whole rail corridor he said they could not stop some people taking risks.

Passengers, all rail enthusiasts, were given strict instructions and crews told people not to stand around the front or back of the train when it was stopped.

Mr Farquhar said Mr Duncraft's death last year was a tragedy but, sadly, it only happened because he had been trespassing. Mr Farquhar was annoyed that some still had not taken on board the message.

"It's almost like telling people not to drink and drive -- every day people continue to do it."

The risk taking was not limited to standing near tracks; some also tried to take videos while driving.

A Kiwi Rail spokesman said the company constantly worked to raise public awareness of the potential danger around railway lines, and he encouraged people to be vigilant along the rail corridor. He cited their recent Rail Safety Week campaign as an example.

"Every incident on the railway network is avoidable if people approaching it actively recognise the hazards and make sure they stay safe at all times. This means obeying all of the warning signs and signals, looking and listening for trains, as they can come at any time and in any direction," the spokesman said.


Senior constable Mike Tinnelly, of Greymouth police, said people tended to get "over-excited" in their pursuit of the visiting steam trains.

"[The trains are] great to watch and great to take pictures of, but do it at a distance," Mr Tinnelly said. He said it was too easy to get a shoe stuck on the line.

- Greymouth Star