Queensland trials new level crossing technology

An innovative new level crossing technology has been switched on at two North Queensland locations to boost road safety.

Transport and Main Roads Minister, Scott Emerson, said new radio break-in technology would be switched on at Calcium and Broughton, between Townsville and Charters Towers, to provide added warnings to motorists at railway crossings.

“Over the next six months we’ll be trialling a radio break-in system developed by La Trobe University, which alerts motorists if there is a train approaching the crossing,” said Emerson. “The technology wirelessly detects the presence of 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.”

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

“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,” said Emerson. “The trial will help determine its effectiveness and whether it can be rolled out to additional railway crossings in Queensland.”

Two alternative safety systems developed by NFA Innovations and Railnet Safety Systems will be trialled in the coming months.

“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,” said Emerson.

During the last financial year, there were 351 reported near misses on the Queensland Rail network, including 199 incidents in South East Queensland and 152 incidents in regional Queensland. This compares to 489 near misses the previous year.

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