Train drivers across Tasmania are becoming increasingly concerned about the growing number of near-miss incidents on the state’s rail network.
In the last year alone, train drivers have reported 39 incidents where road users failed to stop or give way at railway level crossings.
Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael Ferguson said while this was slight drop from 44 incidents recorded the previous year, certain sections of the rail network were still ‘causing concern’.
A majority of all incidents (79% or 31) occurred in built-up areas along the North-West Coast, which serve as the hub of rail activity in the state, like Devonport, Penguin and Spreyton.
There were also two collisions at level crossings in the last year, including one that saw an empty coal train hit a car on Emu Plains Road in Westbury.
The other incident at Mona Vale in the Midlands involved a train striking a vehicle at a crossing.
“A vehicle, driven by the sole occupant, entered a passive crossing and was hit by a train traveling north on the South line at Mona Vale,” Ferguson said.
“Both incidents were reported to the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator, as required.”
“A significant risk reduction initiative implemented during the reporting period was the conversion of three passive level crossings to active control in December 2022.”
“These were Wilmores Lane near Longford; Moore Street, West Ulverstone; and Sewerage Works Road at Wivenhoe. Work has also just been completed to convert the passive level crossing at Wallace Street Bridgewater to active control.”
TasRail says they are actively working with the Australasian Railway Association and the TrackSafe Foundation on additional network safety initiatives.
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