What to do when you approach a rail crossing

Selwyn has had 8 train/vehicle collisions at level rail crossings since 2010.

Selwyn District has many points where roads cross rail tracks so it is a good time to think about these facts:

  • trains can travel up to 100kph and cannot swerve or stop in a hurry
  • trains can take 1000 metres to come to a full stop after a collision
  • a fully laden train can weigh up to 1000 tonnes
  • trains have right of way over all users

At level crossings where there are warning bells and barrier arms you must:

  • stop your car
  • wait for the train to pass
  • wait for the lights to stop flashing and the barrier arm to lift before crossing

At a level crossing controlled by give way or stop signs only you must:

  • slow down and be prepared to stop
  • if there is a stop sign, stop your vehicle completely, look both ways to check the line is clear
  • wait for any approaching train to pass and then check the lines are clear before proceeding

If you need to wait for a train to pass, stop well before the tracks. Always ensure there is space on the other side of the crossing for your vehicle.

Rail crossing with train

Visit Track Safe NZ for further facts, resources and stories.