Rail safety issues and actions

Level crossing sighting

Issue number: RO-2013-011-SI-01
Who it affects: Users of Brown Street level crossing
Issue owner: Warrnambool City Council
Transport function: Rail: Other
Background: Investigation Report RO-2013-011
Issue release date: 29 October 2013
Current issue status: Adequately addressed
Issue status justification: Brown Street level crossing has been closed until it is equipped with active traffic controls.

Safety issue description

For approaches other than the one taken by this motor vehicle driver, this level crossing did not meet the requirements of Australian Standard AS1742.7-2007, Manual of uniform traffic control devices, Part 7: Railway crossings.

Response to safety issue: Warrnambool City Council.

The Warrnambool City Council has advised that the Brown Street level crossing has been closed until it is equipped with active traffic controls.

Action number: RO-2013-011-NSA-007

ATSB comment: The ATSB is satisfied that appropriate action has been taken by Warrnambool City Council.

Safety Advisory Notice

Action number: RO-2013-011-SAN-006
Action organisation: V/Line Regional Network and Access
Date: 28 October 2013
Action status: Closed

The Chief Investigator, Transport Safety (Vic) is investigating a collision between a motor vehicle and a freight train at the Brown Street level crossing, Allansford, that occurred on 19 March 2013.

The investigation is being undertaken under the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003 and in accordance with a collaboration agreement with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB).

In the interests of improving transport safety at this location, the following information obtained during this investigation is released under Section 61 of the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003 (see details on Section 61 release of restricted information at the end of this email). The investigation has been provided with the ALCAM assessment data for this level crossing and the Victorian Railway Crossing Safety Steering Committee (VRCSSC) report.

The report states that the Brown Street level crossing has been identified by V/Line as a crossing with poor sighting and has been added to the 2013-14 Fix Country Crossing Program. Initial assessment of the crossing by the investigation confirms that the sighting distances and sighting angles of the crossing do not meet the AS 1742.7 – 2007 requirements. This level crossing is a passive crossing with Stop signs and the line speed for this passenger line is 80 km/h. During our meeting on 27 June 2013 you advised me that the Council estimated vehicular traffic on Brown Street to be approximately 200 vehicles per day and may include small passenger coaches and semi-trailers. There have been two incidents prior to this collision at this crossing.

You further advised the investigation that the Council had considered re-alignment or closing the crossing, but had deferred progressing either of these options as the crossing was placed on the list for upgrading with active protection devices. Based on our review of the above information, the investigation considers that a significant risk of collision exists at this level crossing until it is fitted with active protection and accordingly, the Chief Investigator, Transport Safety (Vic) encourages Warrnambool City Council to take effective safety action on this matter in the interim.

I will also be advising V/Line of this matter. As part of the investigation process, safety actions taken during the course of an investigation are detailed within the final report and considered by the Chief Investigator when assessing residual risk at the conclusion of the investigation.

ATSB comment:

Response no longer relevant as level crossing has been closed by Warrnambool City Council

Last update 25 February 2015