New Zealand Level Crossing Forum

18-Dec-2016
Start date: 30-Nov-2016

End date: 30-Nov-2016


The 30th November 2016, saw the RTSA/IRSE/IPENZ join forces and run a seminar focused wholly on Level Crossings and the challenges they present to all users. Not even earthquakes in the lead-up to the event were enough to put off the 70 people who attended this event in Wellington. Attendees and presenters travelled from all around New Zealand and even from Australia to attend. This is a reflection of what an important topic it is and how timely it was, given that level crossings had only been added to TAIC’s watchlist in October 2016. Further details on this watchlist can be obtained from their website http://www.taic.org.nz/Watchlist2016/Safetyforrailwaylevelcrossingusers/tabid/294/language/en-US/Default.aspx

We were privileged to kick off the event with a thought provoking keynote address from KiwiRail's Group General Manager Asset Management and Investment. His challenge to the audience was “Level Crossings – Still failing to launch” and some reasons around it.

It was then over to speakers from KiwiRail, the NZ Transport Agency and the Transport Accident Investigation Commission who each provided a very informative view from an industry perspective. This was complemented by the Australasian Centre for Rail Innovation / CQU who gave an insightful look into Human factors in pedestrian and road-user violations at level crossings.

TrackSafe and KiwiRail provided updates on level crossing initiatives and technology that is being developed to improve the safety of users.

A speaker from Auckland Transport highlighted the challenges of Urban Level Crossings and how they are managing the significant changes which are taking place in the Auckland rail network. To complement this presentation, we were given a presentation by WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff on the Melbourne Grade Separation Program of works.

A panel session then debated Level Crossing risks, responsibilities and future issues.

In closing the seminar, we reflected on the collaboration required by industry that is required to implement change, where to best spend money in order to get the greatest benefits, that there needs to be a culture change to users of level crossings and finally that everyone has a responsibly to ensure safety.

Attendees went away from the seminar with some new knowledge and the challenge being - how can they make a difference to Level Crossing Safety in New Zealand. With 2017 fast approaching, we would love to run another topical seminar next year that can help to inform, discuss and develop the industry. If you have any suggested topics, then please email them through to steve.boshier@irse.org.au along with your contact details.


Below are the presentations from this event: