Skip to main content

Level crossing safety

Always cross train tracks using a footbridge, an underpass or at designated pedestrian level crossings.

Crossing the tracks anywhere else is illegal and extremely dangerous.

Trespassing on railway property outside of pedestrian zones or being on the tracks illegally can be serious and finable offenses.

There are safety measures in place at pedestrian level crossings, however always stop, look, listen and think whenever you use these designated walkways to cross the tracks.

Level crossings vary and can have different features to guide pedestrians, such as:

  • signage
  • audio and visual train warnings
  • warning tactile tiles
  • chicaned approach paths
  • automatic gates
  • emergency escape areas.

Here's some advice that could save your life.

  • Ensure that you are not distracted by your mobile phone and remove headphones.
  • Obey the safety signs at every railway crossing and cross at marked crossings only.
  • Stay on the path. Listen and look in both directions for approaching trains.
  • If the red lights are flashing or the gate is closed, a train is coming so keep clear of the tracks.
  • Never jump fences, gates or barriers. This is extremely dangerous and it is very likely the oncoming train is close to the crossing.
  • If a train is coming, wait for it to pass and then stop, look and listen again before crossing as another train may be approaching.
  • You might not hear a train, especially when using your earphones or mobile phone. Never assume a train is a long way off.
  • Don't ride bicycles, skateboards, skates or roller-blades across any pedestrian crossing.
  • Never assume that it is safe to cross when the lights are still flashing. Even if a train has passed, there may be another train coming in the other direction. Only enter the crossing when the lights have stopped flashing or the gate has opened.

When crossing with a wheeled device, cross at right angles to the track to avoid getting your wheels stuck in the train wheel gaps on the pathway. The gaps are up to 7.5 centimetres wide.

If you are crossing with a wheeled device or have vision impairment, consider travelling with a friend or carer when using pedestrian level crossings.

Trespassing

If you are on the railway tracks or railway property outside of the designated pedestrian areas, you are trespassing. This includes crossing the tracks, standing beside the railway track or anywhere inside the fenced area by the side of the tracks

Being on the tracks illegally

It takes a lot to stop an eight-carriage train travelling at 100kmh. The braking distance is 500 metres. For longer trains such as freight trains, it can take up to one kilometre to stop.

If you are on the tracks illegally, it could cause a fatal accident where you and others could lose your lives. Being caught on the track is a serious offense with a $5,500 penalty fine.

If you see any illegal train track crossing, report it to the police by calling 000.

If you know of someone who regularly goes on the tracks, you can make an anonymous report to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Report any illegal activity, please don't ignore it.