Selwyn has had six train/vehicle collisions at level rail crossings in the past few years, in which two people received minor injuries.

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

Train Crossing

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

  • On a give way sign, 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. When crossing tracks always make sure there is enough room for your vehicle on the other side of the tracks.

Visit Rail Safety NZ for other facts and stories.