LIFE-SAVING UPGRADES TO LOCAL RAIL LEVEL CROSSINGS NEEDED NOW

LIFE-SAVING UPGRADES TO LOCAL RAIL LEVEL CROSSINGS NEEDED NOW

Photo caption: Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall at Armidale’s Markham Street rail level crossing this morning, as the Xplorer train journeyed towards Sydney. Mr Marshall is calling for the crossing to be upgraded, including the installation of boom gates.

Monday, 29 January 2024

NORTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall is calling on the State and Federal Governments to work together to provide major upgrades to railway level crossings across country NSW, including the dangerous Markham Street crossing in Armidale.

Mr Marshall said the upgrades would railway crossing safety and reduce serious and fatal accidents which have a devastating impact on communities.

Standing at Armidale’s busy Markham Street rail level crossing this morning, Mr Marshall said it was a good example of a crossing which would benefit greatly from the installation of the latest technology and safety equipment, including retro-reflective boom gates, to prevent motorists crossing in front of oncoming trains.

“There’s been a number of near misses at this crossing recently and it’s becoming quite dangerous,” Mr Marshall said.

“Markham Street is a busy urban road in Armidale and as traffic continues to increase, the need for a major safety upgrade here, including the installation of boom gates, will be critical in ensuring we don’t see a major accident occur.

“I’m calling on the State and Federal governments to work together on a major package to upgrade rail level crossings in our region, starting with the Markham Street crossing, which I fear is now a disaster waiting to happen.”

Mr Marshall said that with only a daily passenger train service utilising the rail line twice a day, local motorists had become complacent.

“The crossing is only closed briefly twice each day for the Xplorer train service, so most motorists using Markham Street would cross the rail line without ever seeing a train,” he said.

“This only heightens the risk that when the crossing is active, motorists don’t see or hear the lights as they are on ‘auto-pilot’, which may have contributed to the near misses of late.

“Having some boom gates at this crossing would prevent an accident occurring due to a motorist blithely driving through the crossing when a train is coming.

“I’ll continue lobbying both levels of government to see some funds released to undertake the upgrades here and at other crossings across the region.”

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