Media & events

Rail Safety Week

TrackSAFE proudly supports Rail Safety Week.

Rail Safety Week is an annual Australasian-wide initiative where rail operators and other organisations across New Zealand and Australia come together to raise awareness about rail safety and encourage safe behaviour around trains and tracks. 

Rail Safety Week 2016

This year's Rail Safety Week will be held from 15-21 August 2016.  Check back here for more information on events for the week.

Rail Safety Week 2015

Last year the theme of Rail Safety Week was 'Expect Trains' which aimed to address driver and pedestrian complacency and distraction.  The campaign included billboard, radio, print advertising, social media, public events and PR. A news release about the week is available here at 'Expect Trains'.

This campaign will continue into 2016.


A full media backgrounder on Rail Safety Week is available to download here.

Downloadable posters

Downloadable Rail Safety Week posters are available here, and A3 size files can be emailed upon request.

Rail Safety Week is planned and coordinated by KiwiRail in close association with TrackSAFE NZ, NZ Police, NZ Transport Agency, Auckland Transport, Transdev Auckland and Greater Wellington Regional Council.

Rural Campaign

An additional, site specific, awareness campaign was also launched by the NZ Transport Agency during this year’s Rail Safety Week.  The campaign aims to improve driver behaviour at rural and semi-rural level crossings throughout the country.

The campaign is based on research undertaken late last year that indicated that local drivers in rural areas are often complacent, especially around those level crossings controlled by Stop and Give Way signs.

Local drivers often don’t perceive the risk of rural crossings to be high, and this complacency can lead to risky behaviour like failing to carefully look for trains before proceeding over a level crossing.

The aim is to get local drivers off autopilot when they approach railway tracks and to accept that crossing railway tracks safely means giving it their full attention.

The campaign involves a locomotive-sized billboard and associated signage being placed near and in the approach to a level crossing. The life-sized locomotive billboard aims to prompt drivers to slow down and check for trains as they approach level crossings.

The first site for the signage is at a rural level crossing in Carterton.  It will now be progressively moved to other higher risk level crossing sites throughout New Zealand.

The Virtual Reality Train Experience

As part of Rail Safety Week 2014, KiwiRail and TrackSAFE NZ gave Kiwis the chance to test their train driving skills using virtual reality technology.

Events were held around the country, putting people in the seat of a 108 tonne locomotive where they could see exactly what it takes to drive a locomotive.

The Virtual Reality Train Simulator is still available to try online here


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Latest news

Tawa crossing to get safety boost

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Safety on a Tawa level crossing is about to be stepped up, with KiwiRail set to install voice message units at the Collins Avenue crossing.

KiwiRail level crossing engineer Eddie Cook says the Tawa crossing is the first site in New Zealand to have the units installed.

The system aims to reduce the likelihood of a pedestrian crossing into the path of another train, by delivering a voice message to alert those using the crossing that a second train is coming.

The voice message units activate when another train is approaching, delivering the warning: “Another Train Approaching. Do Not Cross”.

Mr Cook says some pedestrians cross after the first train has passed without realising that there might be another train approaching from the other direction.
“The project is part of KiwiRail’s commitment to put safety first,” he says.

The Tawa crossing had been chosen because there was already a second train detection system in place.

TrackSAFE NZ Foundation Manager Megan Drayton says the initiative is an exciting development which could help to prevent level crossing accidents. 

“We know that people sometimes behave unsafely around railway tracks, due to distraction and other human factors,” she says.  “Any device that can further alert people to the presence of a second train will be a welcome addition to safety at level crossings.”

However Ms Drayton says that the public should remember that the best way to stay safe around railway tracks is to always obey the existing signs and signals that are there to warn of a train or trains approaching.  “Always look both ways for trains before crossing the tracks and only cross at designated level crossings,” she says.

Mr Cook says once the system had been up and running for a while it would be evaluated with a view to rolling it out across the country. Similar systems were used in the United States and United Kingdom, he said.

Work on installing the units is expected to start this weekend (June 25).  Read more

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