Rail safety issues and actions

Construction of level crossing at unsealed roads

Issue number: RO-2013-010-SI-03
Who it affects: Owners and operators of rail infrastructure.
Issue owner: V/Line
Transport function: Rail: Infrastructure
Background: Investigation Report RO-2013-010
Issue release date: 29 April 2015
Current issue status: Partially addressed
Issue status justification:

V/Line has updated its level crossing construction standard and introduced a requirement for sealed public road crossings on Class 1 track.

Safety issue description

The method of constructing crossings at unsealed roads heightened the potential for corrosion and track degradation and limited the opportunity for effective visual inspection. The network standard for crossing construction did not directly address the particular challenges of unsealed roads.

Proactive Action

Action number: RO-2013-010-NSA-095
Action organisation: V/Line
Date: 29 April 2015
Action status: Monitor

V/Line has advised that, while it considers the current method of construction of unsealed level crossings to be fit for purpose, it will review the available construction methods across other rail networks and determine whether the existing standard of construction is the most appropriate method.  

ATSB comment:

Post-incident survey of unsealed crossings identified that the track at a significant portion of crossings was in a deteriorated condition that warranted immediate remedial action. This indicated both a failure of the condition monitoring regime and greater rates of rail and track deterioration at unsealed crossings. The ATSB is of the view that opportunities may exist to improve the construction at such crossings, and the V/Line review of available construction methods is welcomed.

Additional correspondence

Response date: 31 October 2016
Response from: ONRSR
Action status: Closed
Response text:

ONRSR advised that V/Line has updated its Level Crossing construction standard to include a provision that all Public Road Crossings on Class 1 track shall be sealed.

Last update 04 January 2017