Ten private railway level crossings became one protected level crossing with flashing lights and warning bells yesterday, with the commissioning of the Kolodong Road level crossing near Taree, NSW.
The road safety improvements are part of rail curve easing works the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) is undertaking along the North Coast of NSW.
A new road has been constructed on the residents’ side of the railway line, on the Wingham to Taree section of track, and new protected level crossing built to replace the previous unprotected, private level crossings. The former level crossings have now been closed.
“Kolodong Road is a bit of a famous location with local train crew, as a 40 kilometre an hour speed restriction was in place because of the ten private level crossings all falling within a two kilometre stretch of track on the North Coast Line,” Executive General Manager for the Interstate Network, Tim Ryan said.
“The new level crossing and road provide for a single protected area to cross the rail track, and removing the private level crossings now allows trains to travel at normal speeds, which brings with it operational benefits.”
The North Coast curve easing project is aimed at cutting transit times and increasing rail reliability by targeting sharp bends along the rail corridor. It is funded as part of the Australian Government’s Rail Productivity Improvement Package, a $996 million equity investment in ARTC.
“It is a project aimed at having a safer, faster and more reliable rail network, but these road and rail safety benefits are a major win for local communities and train operators alike,” Mr Ryan said.
A number of level crossing projects are accompanying the curve-easing works.
Two protected level crossings have been commissioned in the last month. On 23 December at Camira Creek near Casino and on 14 January near Nambucca Heads.
“This is a great safety outcome for the local community,” Mr Ryan said.
A range of other signalling enhancement works are ongoing to finalise the curve easing project, which is expected to be completed later this year.