Changed train operations

Because of changes to train operations in the Forbes, Wirrinya, Caragabal and Bribbaree areas motorists are urged to take extra care at local level crossings.

From the first week of September, how trains have operated in the past in these areas will no longer be the case.

Motorists have to be aware that trains passing through level crossings on the line between Parkes and Cootamundra will now do so at regular speeds of around 80kph to 115kph.

The changes have been brought about by modernising operations by the Australian Rail Track Corporation.

“We’re replacing 19th and 20th century train operations with 21st century computerized traffic management,” an ARTC spokesperson said.

 “Previously trains stopped at certain spots along the track so they could use a ‘ticket and staff’ system of train management.

“This meant the driver had to contact train controllers and get approval to move along the track.

“A lot of locals, seeing the train stopped would hurry through level crossings believing they had time to get through safely.

“Under the new system the trains won’t stop where they used to and will go through level crossings at the higher speeds.

“What we don’t want to see happen is for motorists to try and ‘race’ trains.

“Instead of relying on what was local knowledge, motorists should treat every level crossing with respect and follow all the road rules of stopping, looking and then crossing when it’s safe.

“What people have to understand is that it takes a fair distance for a train to slow down and, unlike cars or trucks, a train can’t swerve out of the way.”

ARTC will install signs at level crossings along the rail line warning motorists of the changes.

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