Work underway on level crossing near Parkes

Work is currently underway on improving a level crossing on the Newell Highway near Parkes.

The ARTC is working in collaboration with the NSW government on improvements, which are carried out as part of the NSW Level Crossing Improvement Program.

The works will continue until 6am, Thursday March 12.

4,000 vehicles, including 1,000 heavy vehicles, use the crossing each day at Tichborne, located between Parkes and Forbes.

Old equipment is now being decommissioned as new predictive track circuitry and safety systems are installed and tested. The existing lights will be upgraded to high intensity LED flashing lights and retro-reflective boom gates will be installed.

The improvement of the Tichborne level crossing is one of 1,400 public road level crossings around NSW, which are having their safety improved in the Level Crossing Improvement Program.

The $990,000 upgrade at Tichborne, funded by Transport for NSW, is being delivered by Wabtec on behalf of the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC).

“Level crossings between trains and vehicles are a major road safety risk, and while these safety upgrades are important, it is also essential that motorists take care around all level crossings,” said ARTC general manager asset management Brian Green.

“We are asking motorists to take care and be patient while the works are taking place this week as the new equipment is being installed and tested,” he said.

Although incidents of train colliding with road vehicles at level crossings in NSW have been trending down to date, in 2018-19 there were five collisions between a vehicle and a train. In addition, while incidents have decreased from the previous year, fatalities increased, with three fatalities in 2018-19 after no fatalities in 2017-18.

Green noted that in most cases, errors by motorists have caused incidents.

“The majority of level crossing accidents are due to errors by motorists, so we ask all drivers to take care and don’t take risks at level crossings,” he said.

“Common risky behaviour can include ignoring warning lights and signs, speeding or being distracted by using mobile phones while driving.”

The next level crossing to be worked on will be the Welcome level crossing, also between Parkes and Forbes, work will be carried out later in March.