- CCTV shows cavalier attitude to rail & personal safety
- Temporary closure of Mile End crossing back on cards
The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) said today temporary closure of the Mile End pedestrian crossing would be revisited if recent dangerous behavior continued.
ARTC Infrastructure Manager Ben Leske said that unfortunately dangerous behaviour with members of the community either climbing through wagons or trespassing and walking behind trains had returned to the crossing.
“Since the start of the year behaviour had been great, with the community really responding to the need to stop risky activity at the crossing and to stay safe.
“Disappointingly, five incidents have put the safety of the crossing again in the spotlight – and that of course means we need to closely consider whether it remains open until Torrens Junction works are complete,” Mr Leske said.
During the second CCTV monitoring period from 16 March to 20 May, there were five (5) incidents of unsafe behaviour. Four of those incidents occurred during May and three of those on Thursday 12 May.
In the CCTV footage, one man takes less than 10 seconds at the crossing to decide to climb through and between wagons of a freight train waiting to depart. At the same time another adult male trespasses into the rail corridor and around the back of the train.
Five minutes later, another adult male arrives and immediately climbs through the wagons.
Each of these incidents could have resulted in a fatality or serious harm.
“This means we need to seriously review the ongoing usage of the pedestrian crossing until Torrens Junction separation works are complete – because the risk of a fatality or serious injury occurring is something ARTC cannot accept, particularly given there is a grade separated underpass right next door,” Mr Leske said.
“We are asking the community to keep the crossing open by actively encouraging safe behaviour and calling out those who are taking risks.
“The conflict we have is when there is a safer alternative next-door, how do we justify maintaining at-grade infrastructure like the Mile End pedestrian crossing when community members actively engage in risk-taking behaviour like they are?”
In good faith, ARTC will keep the crossing open, but this will come under close review after the next quarter of CCTV monitoring is captured and assessed in late August.
ARTC has shared the above information with local stakeholders including Council and a local community group and requested their ideas and support to stop this risky behaviour.
The Bakewell Underpass remains the safest route to cross the rail corridor in this location.
Note to media: CCTV vision available, please call for download files – YouTube links below
Media contact: Bas Bolyn, ARTC, 0477 340 658
Torrens Junction Project
The Torrens Junction project will alleviate almost, if not all, of the issues resulting in freight services blocking the level crossing as it will separate freight and passenger services operating on the same train line. Currently freight trains are held in favour of passenger trains, particularly during busy commuter periods. The South Australian and Australian Governments’ have recently announced they will soon release a call for Expressions of Interest to deliver the project.
Promotional activity and community awareness of the issue
- There has been widespread media coverage
- We have had our staff out at the crossing handing out hundreds of flyers at different hours of the day (so we could capture different users of the crossing) to warn of the dangers
- We have done letterbox drops
- Multiple local newspaper ads
- Dedicated ARTC webpage with FAQs
- There are signs up warning against trespass and advising of the CCTV monitoring
- Direct advice to different stakeholder groups
CCTV monitoring results: March – May 2016
- In total there were 4 recorded times trains were held and blocked the crossing during the 3-month period from 16 March to 20 May.
- There were 5 incidents of unsafe behaviour – 3 walk arounds and 2 climbing through the wagons
Date (of train blocking crossing) Incidents of Dangerous Behaviour Time Through Mile End