Level crossing technology to be trialled in north Queensland

New radio break-in technology will be trialled between Townsville and Charters Towers to provide warnings to motorists at railway crossings

September 30, 2013

Level crossing technology to warn motorists of approaching trains will be switched on this week at two north Queensland locations, as part of government efforts to improve road safety.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson says the new radio break-in technology will be trialled at Calcium and Broughton, between Townsville and Charters Towers, to provide added warnings to motorists at railway crossings.

La Trobe University developed the technology, which alerts motorists if there is a train approaching the crossing.

"The technology wirelessly detects the presence of motor vehicles in relation to trains and can broadcast a warning announcement through the vehicle’s radio, as well as displaying a visual warning through a unit fitted above the dashboard," Emerson says.

"The devices were installed in 22 trains and 23 vehicles which regularly use railway crossings at Manton Quarry Road, Calcium and Gromac Quarry Access Road, Broughton.

"The trial will help determine its effectiveness and whether it can be rolled out to additional railway crossings in Queensland."

The technology is one of three being trialled as part of a $2 million investment to improve safety at railway crossings.

Two additional railway crossing safety trials will also start in the coming months to test two other systems.

"A different type of radio break-in technology and a solar-powered railway crossing warning system will be trialled at locations in south west Queensland," Emerson says.

There were 351 reported near misses on the Queensland Rail network last financial year, including 199 incidents in south east Queensland and 152 incidents in regional Queensland. This compares to 481 near misses the previous year.

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