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Rail environment

Crossing protection

All public level crossings must have some form of protection.

Active Protection

Active protection is where a road or pedestrian level crossing has barrier arms (either half or full), flashing lights or bells - or a combination of these devices.

Pedestrian gates which automatically close when a train is approaching, are an example of 'active protection'.

Around 21 percent of all public road level crossings have barriers and automatic alarms, and about 32 percent are protected by flashing lights and bells. 

The remaining 47 percent are protected by passive signs.

Passive Protection

Passive protection means the level crossing is protected by 'Stop' signs or 'Give Way' signs. 

The onus is on people to obey these warning signs and always look for trains and check the tracks are clear of trains before crossing.

There are over a thousand level crossings in New Zealand with passive protection.

Grade Separation

Some crossings in New Zealand, particularly in the larger cities, are grade separated.  This means that engineering has physically separated the crossing from interaction with the motorist or pedestrian.

Grade separating a crossing can cost millions of dollars, and is generally the responsibility of the local road controlling authority in that area.

Several crossings in Auckland have been grade separated as part of the DART Project - Developing Auckland's Rail Transport.  The New Lynn trench in Auckland is an example of successful grade separation where undergrounding the rail corridor removed several level crossings in the area.




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Latest news

Safety Leadership Award Announced

Friday, February 17, 2017

Rail industry safety expert Robert (Bob) Lupton was today announced as the inaugural winner of the TrackSAFE NZ Safety Leadership Award. 

The award was established late last year to recognise significant leadership in railway safety in New Zealand.

Chairman of TrackSAFE NZ Peter Reidy says Mr Lupton received the award for his outstanding contribution to safety over his 32 year career in New Zealand and overseas.

“Mr Lupton’s continued contribution has appreciably influenced rail safety in New Zealand across a number of organisations,” Mr Reidy says.  “He has an outstanding reputation for providing sound advice and growing and supporting those around him and is fully deserving of this special award.”

Mr Lupton has worked in a number of roles in the rail industry throughout his career, most recently as the Rail Systems Safety and Assurance Manager for the City Rail Link project.   

In that role he provided leadership, mentoring and guidance to the City Rail Link safety assurance and construction safety teams.

Among Mr Lupton’s many achievements are leading the development of the Britomart Safety Management System and responsibility for safety management during the transition to Auckland’s electrified network.  This included crashworthiness risk assessments for the new Auckland electric rolling stock.

Mr Lupton is an executive member of the New Zealand National Rail System Standards Executive committee, and continues to provide expert rail safety advice to the City Rail Link one of New Zealand's largest transport projects.

The award was presented today to Mr Lupton at Auckland Transport offices, in front of industry representatives.  Read more

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