Hon Rita Saffioti BBus MLA

Hon Rita Saffioti BBus MLA

Minister for Transport; Planning; Ports

    Safety review sees major change to Passive Level Railway Crossings

    25/05/2023 6:00 AM
    • Review recommends removal of all give way signs on public road level crossings
    • More than $11 million to be invested, upgrading 13 crossings to flashing light controls
    • Review assessed all public road, passively-controlled level crossings in the State
    • Review entailed comprehensive site assessments at each location, applying an Australian Level Crossing Assessment Model (ALCAM)

    A major safety review into the State's public road, passively-controlled level crossings has been completed, with safety improvements recommended for 87 level crossings.


    There are currently 960 public road level crossings within Western Australia located on operational rail lines, with around half of these fitted with active level crossing controls (flashing lights or boom gates).


    There are 491 level crossings fitted with passive controls (405 with stop signs and 87 with give way signs).


    The safety review was commissioned by Main Roads in mid-2021 and involved visiting all 491 passively-controlled level crossings and undertaking detailed site assessments at each crossing location, in line with an Australian Level Crossing Assessment Model (ALCAM).


    The ALCAM process involves the collection of data through a combination of level crossing site surveys as well as train and vehicle volume information from respective rail and road authorities.


    Each level crossing is assessed uniformly using a standardised procedure to gather and interpret level crossing data. ALCAM identifies key safety risks, whilst also producing a unique risk score for each individual crossing.


    Following a completion of the review in December 2022, Main Roads assessed the information with the key findings as follows:


    Of the 491 passively-controlled level crossings, 87 are to have upgrades made to their regulatory control. This includes:

    • an upgrade of seven give way-controlled crossings to active flashing light controls, with an estimated cost of $6.16million;
    • an upgrade of six stop sign-controlled crossings to active flashing light controls, with an estimated cost of $5.28million; and
    • an upgrade of 74 give way-controlled crossings to stop sign controls, with an estimated cost of $370,000.

    Of the 87 level crossings to be upgraded:

    • 81 are in the Wheatbelt region;
    • two are in the Goldfields-Esperance region;
    • two are in the Great Southern region;
    • one is in the Mid-West Gascoyne region; and
    • one is in the Metropolitan region.

    The 13 crossings proposed for upgrade to active flashing light controls will be undertaken as part of the 2024-2029 5-Year Level Crossing Capital Works Program, with the remaining 74 give way-controlled crossings to be upgraded to stop sign control by 30 June 2024.


    The proposed changes will significantly improve safety, and help prevent accidental collisions and near misses, particularly in the regions where roads cross railway tracks.


    Following implementation of these changes there will no longer be any give way-controlled level crossings located on main line railways within WA. Additionally, more than 50 per cent of all public road level crossings in WA will now be controlled by flashing lights or boom gates, which is above the national average.


    It is expected the changes will result in a 33 per cent reduction in the cumulative ALCAM risk score across these 87 locations.


    There will be no changes to the existing 469 actively controlled level crossings.


    Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:


    "We undertook this review because our Government is committed to improving rail safety in this State.


    "The recommendations in this review, which our Government supports and will deliver, means there will no longer be any level crossing on a public road in Western Australia that is controlled by a give way sign.


    "The upgrades of 13 level crossings to either flashing lights or boom gates means more than half of the level crossings on public roads in Western Australia will have active controls, one of the highest proportions of any State or Territory in the country.


    "We intend to undertake these works as quickly as possible, with the vast majority of the give way signs to be removed by the middle of next year, and the upgrades of the 13 level crossings to active controls to be undertaken progressively over the next few years.


    "In light of the recommendations from this report, we are continuing discussions with key stakeholders to implement these changes as quickly as possible, including engaging with the Commonwealth on funding arrangements."


    Minister's office - 6552 5500