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Level crossing length

Issue number: RO-2012-007-SI-02
Who it affects: All road and rail infrastructure managers
Issue owner: Metro Trains / Wyndham City Council
Operation affected: Rail: Infrastructure
Background: Investigation Report RO-2012-007
Date: 18 December 2013

Safety issue description

The level crossing is longer than necessary. Shortening it would reduce the amount of time that a vehicle spends within the crossing and improve the visual information available to motorists when assessing their ability to clear the crossing.

Response to the safety issue by: Metro Trains

Metro Trains agrees that shortening the crossing may provide a risk benefit. This will be explored in conjunction with the Wyndham City Council.

ATSB comment:

The ATSB has reviewed Metro Trains submission and notes the intended action, but considers that further action is required to adequately address the safety issue.

Response to the safety issue by: Wyndham City Council

The Wyndham City Council notes that the additional length provides a warning to drivers as to where they should and should not go. In a way, the extended length appears to be working as additional signage warnings (and visual cue). Relocation of level crossing equipment is something that requires Metro Trains involvement.


ATSB comment:

The ATSB has reviewed Wyndham City Council and considers that further action is required to adequately address the safety issue.

Recommendation

Action organisation: Metro Trains
Action number: RO-2012-007-SR-005
Date: 18 December 2013
Action status: Released

The ATSB recommends that Metro Trains takes further action in consultation with Wyndham City Council in relation to the shortening of the Cherry Street level crossing.

 

Correspondence

Date received: 07 April 2014
Response from: Wyndham City Council
Action status: Closed
Response text:

A meeting was held on 9th January 2014 between VicTrack, Metro Trains Melbourne, VicRoads and Wyndham City officers to investigate and discuss actions and staging of treatment to enhance the safety of the Cherry Street crossing. From the meeting, the following actions occurred:

  • VicRoads is to further enhance the co-ordination of the red meter light at Railway Avenue.
  • A business case was submitted by VicTrack to Public Transport Victoria for funding to:
    • further enhance the coordination of the pedestrian crossing light with the level crossing.
    • the installation of two meter red lights on Market Road;
    • the installation of backlight on the existing Flashing Light masts; and
    • the installation of 'Keep Track Clear' sign.
    • the installation of a refuge area.
    • reduce the width of the level crossing.

VicTrack has confirmed that a funding sum will be provided for these works. The specific details of the scope of works and design is to be prepared between the agencies.

ATSB response:

The ATSB has reviewed Wyndham City Council and considers that further action is required to adequately address the safety issue.

Recommendation

Action organisation: Wyndham City Council
Action number: RO-2012-007-SR-006
Date: 18 December 2013
Action status: Released

The ATSB recommends that Wyndham City Council takes further action in consultation with Metro Trains in relation to the shortening of the Cherry Street level crossing.

Correspondence

Date received: 07 April 2014
Response from: Wyndham City Council
Action status: Closed
Response text:

Dot point 4 of the previous section (1.3 Refuge Area), highlights a benefit of the longer distance between the boom barrier and the distance to the rail being 10 metres: that this area or length could be used as a refuge area if a south bound vehicle is trapped across a track. It is suggested that this benefit has a real and higher value than moving the north bound stop line (and associated boom barrier, etc.) closer to the track. It is not clear that there is a tangible benefit to reduce the distance to the rail.

Wyndham City considers that improved co-ordination and linking of all traffic signals, as well as the installation of additional signals (refer to 2. Recent Actions), provide better actions and results than relocating the barrier equipment on the south side of the crossing. Further, Wyndham City officers consider the benefit of a possible refuge area negates the action to reduce the crossing width for north bound vehicles.

Signage will need to be created and installed to highlight the refuge aspect in the case of an emergency. This will need to be discussed with the railway agencies. It is believed while there are some merits to reduce the level crossing width for the Cherry Street crossing and a business case has been put up to VicTrack to gain funding to reduce the width of the level crossing, however, this work should be considered to be a lower priority than the works indicated above.

A meeting was held on 9th January 2014 between VicTrack, Metro Trains Melbourne, VicRoads and Wyndham City officers to investigate and discuss actions and staging of treatment to enhance the safety of the Cherry Street crossing.

From the meeting, the following actions occurred:

􀂇􀀃VicRoads is to further enhance the co-ordination of the red meter light at Railway Avenue. A business case was submitted by VicTrack to Public Transport Victoria for funding to:

  • further enhance the coordination of the pedestrian crossing light with the level crossing.
  • the installation of two meter red lights on Market Road;
  • the installation of backlight on the existing Flashing Light masts; and
  • the installation of 'Keep Track Clear' sign.
  • the installation of a refuge area.
  • reduce the width of the level crossing.

VicTrack has confirmed that a funding sum will be provided for these works. The specific details of the scope of works and design is to be prepared between the agencies.

   
Current issue status: Adequately addressed
Status justification:

The ATSB is satisfied that the action taken/proposed by Wyndham City Council and Metro Trains Melbourne will addresse this safety issue.

 
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Last update 16 December 2015