South Australia To Invest $12 Million In Railway Level Crossing Safety

South Australia To Invest $12 Million In Railway Level Crossing Safety

South Australia Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Stephen Mullighan

New Strategy To Improve The Safety Of Railway Crossings

Victor P Taffa

The State Government is reviewing all level and pedestrian crossings in South Australia to improve safety on the rail network.

The Government will invest $12 Million over the next four years for a program of upgrades at railway crossings while also considering reducing the number of railway crossings.

The funding is in addition to significant investment being spent on major upgrades, including the $238 Million Torrens Junction rail underpass at Park Terrace, and the Outer Harbor rail overpass included in the $896 Million Torrens to Torrens project.

“In recent years we have invested many hundreds of millions of dollars to separate train and tram tracks from roads and footpaths, not only improving traffic flows but dramatically improving safety.” Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Stephen Mullighan said.

“These new initiatives will complement major projects already completed or underway such as the removal of level crossings as part of the Anzac Highway Underpass and the Port River Expressway projects.”

The release of the strategy coincides with yesterday’s announcement by the State Government of a proposal to upgrade Oaklands Crossing.

“Construction has already commenced on removing a major level crossing on South Road, Croydon as part of the Torrens to Torrens project and construction will soon commence on the removal of Park Terrace and Gibson Street level crossings as part of the Torrens Junction project.” Mr. Mullighan said.

The draft Railway Crossing Safety Strategy is now available online and the Government will be asking South Australians to provide feedback through an online survey.

A video educating people about the dangers of rail crossings will be circulated on social media, along with a first-hand account of the impact of near-misses on train drivers.

Background

There are 710 railway crossings on public roads in metropolitan and rural South Australia and more than 360 pedestrian crossings on Adelaide’s passenger rail network.

The average passenger train weighs more than 100 tonnes and can take more than a kilometre to come to a stop. For freight trains this can be even longer.

Between 2011 and 2015, 4 people were killed and 6 people were seriously injured at railway crossings and 660 near-misses were reported by rail operators.

The new strategy details a number of ways to manage the safety risks at metropolitan and rural level and pedestrian rail crossings.

They include:

  • Grade separate railway crossings
  • Identify crossings for infrastructure and safety improvements
  • Identify crossings for possible closure where safer alternatives exist
  • Increase utilisation of CCTV and safety cameras to manage the risk of queuing
  • Trial vehicle activated signs on passive rural crossings
  • Raise awareness and educate people about the dangers of railway crossings

Both the draft Railway Crossing Safety Strategy and the survey are available at the State Government’s Your Say website.

The survey closes at 5 pm, Friday 9 September.