Media & events

Rail Safety Week

Rail Safety Week 2017

Rail Safety Week 2017 aimed to raise awareness about rail safety and encourage safe behaviour around trains and tracks.  The week ran between 14-20 August 2017 and was planned and coordinated by KiwiRail in close association with TrackSAFE NZ, NZ Police, NZ Transport Agency, Auckland Transport, Transdev Auckland, Transdev Wellington, Greater Wellington Regional Council, NZ Automobile Association and local councils throughout New Zealand.


The week focused on two major concerns - the safety of pedestrians in urban zones and motorists’ safety in rural areas.

The increasing use of technology along with the roll-out of electric trains in Auckland and Wellington, and more frequent services particularly in Auckland, means increasing messages to pedestrians about staying alert and focused.

Rural drivers were encouraged not to be complacent, as complacency is one of the known key contributing factors to collisions.   People expect they won’t encounter a train because they may only see two a week.  Messages were to stay focused every time someone approaches a level crossing, and to always expect trains at any time, from either direction.

Campaign materials

Materials were produced to complement the “TrackStoppers” social media video.  This following digital toolkit was been put together to help other individuals and organisations promote Rail Safety Week.
•    Rail Safety Week Overview and national media release;
•    Digital posters for download - blue, indigo, orange and purple;
•    Radio advertisement;
•    ‘TrackStoppers’ social media video;
•    The Life of a Locomotive Engineer - KiwiRail social media videos;


A social media video was produced to encourage people to cross safely at level crossings.  The film was made at the Epuni level crossing in Wellington and involved well-known New Zealand band Drax Project.  The band performed by the side of the level crossing as pedestrians approached and stopped playing as they started crossing.   

The concept promoted the idea that pedestrians should stay alert and focus on their surroundings when using a level crossing by removing their headphones.  Cameras captured the band setting up and playing, as well as people’s reactions to the band.


KiwiRail also produced a series of five one minute videos focusing on rail safety and the effects that incidents and near-misses can have on the well-being of the locomotive engineer.  

These are powerful and personal accounts of the experiences of rail staff.  The video content focuses on services on both urban and rural routes. 

These social media videos were shared on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and other social media channels during Rail Safety Week. The full version of these videos can be viewed below.

Expect Trains

The “Expect Trains” safety campaign was also delivered in the South Island as trains returned to the Main North Line (and work trains are already operating).  The campaign (organised by NCTIR/NZTA/KiwiRail) involved ongoing print, digital and radio advertising, roadside billboards, school visits and a range of community engagement activities.  See "Expect Trains" campaign materials further down on this page.


A number of events were held throughout New Zealand to mark Rail Safety Week.  Some of these included:   

  • A stakeholder launch event at the Wellington Railway Station at 10.00am on Monday 14 August.  Hon Tim Macindoe, Associate Transport Minister,  formally launched the week’s events.  The event was attended by a number of dignitaries, level crossing collision survivors, locomotive engineers and representatives from Tawa School.
  • The NZ Transport Agency/KiwiRail “Expect Trains” safety campaign was launched at the Matapuna Road level crossing at Horopito on Wednesday 16 August.  This campaign focuses on drawing attention to the safety of motorists at rural level crossings and addressing the issue of complacency. Full press release available here.
  • A major community event, Steamfest was held in Otorohanga involving KiwiRail, the Otorohanga District Council and Mainline Steam.  A “KiwiRail Rail Safety Week train” was used to communicate safety messages to the community.
  • Platform/level crossing awareness events were held in Auckland at Baldwin Avenue, Glen Innes and Britomart.

Rail Safety Week 2016

This campaign reminded people to stay alert and cross carefully at railway level crossings.  The campaign was launched by Transport Minister Hon Simon Bridges at the Wellington Railway Station on Monday 15 August. 

The full press release for Rail Safety Week is available here.

For Rail Safety Week, we wanted to make people alert, every time they cross the tracks. Check out our video for social media during the week - The Conscious Crossing.


Downloadable Rail Safety Week materials:

National "Expect Trains" poster
Auckland urban "Expect Trains" poster
Wellington urban "Expect Trains" poster

National "Expect Trains" flyer
Auckland "Expect Trains" flyer
Wellington "Expect Trains" flyer

Radio Advertisement More FM
Radio Advertisement The Edge
Radio Advertisement The Rock/Sound

Auckland Radio Advertisement with Jerome Kaino

Let's Keep TrackSAFE poster for children
Let's Keep TrackSAFE handout for children

Ongoing Rural Rail Safety Campaign

An additional, site specific, awareness campaign developed by the NZ Transport Agency is continuing.  The campaign aims to improve driver behaviour at rural and semi-rural level crossings throughout the country.

The campaign is based on research undertaken in late 2014 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 was at a rural level crossing in Carterton, followed by a level crossing in Waipukurau.  The billboard was installed at the Union Line level crossing just out of Marton in July 2015.  Plans are currently underway to relocate the campaign to another level crossing.

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