Level crossing upgrades near completion

Upgrades to rail crossings in Victoria and Tasmania near completion under government program to fix high risk crossings

June 22, 2010

Another round of upgrades to high risk rail crossings will soon be completed under the Rudd Government’s $150 million Boom Gates for Rail Crossings Program.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese today announced safety works at three more priority level crossings in Victoria are nearing completion.

He says the works on crossings in Carnegie, Shepparton and Benalla will bring the number of upgrades funded by the Government to 56 in Victoria.

All 59 projects are expected to be completed in July.

The announcement coincides with news that safety works on six crossings in Tasmania have almost finished.

"Never before has there been a federal program dedicated to improving safety and preventing accidents at level crossings," Albanese says.

"Tragically about 100 accidents occur at level crossings every year."

Albanese says the installation of active warning lights to crossings at Tea Tree, Burnie, Perth, Highclere and Hampshire in Tasmania are expected to be finished by the end of the month.

Work will also be completed on the installation of lights and bells at a level crossing at Latrobe.

Albanese says the Government has also allocated $13.6 from the program to improving safety at 34 of South Australia’s high risk level crossings.

He says the latest upgrade, which included advanced warning signs, was made to a crossing at Cutana on the Barrier Highway.

All the funds under the program have now been allocated. The initiative was established last year to stimulate an economy buffeted by the global financial downturn.

Australian Rail Track Corporation CEO David Marchant says the funding has been an important step in increasing safety.

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