Level crossing safety


In Queensland, there are over 1,200 level crossings that are connected to the road network. Level crossing incidents carry a high risk of serious injury or death. That is why signs and signals are in place to keep everyone safe. All level crossings have some form of protection including:

  • Flashing lights
  • Flashing lights and Boom gates 
  • Stop or Give Way signage
  • pedestrian crossing gates 
  • warning signs 

Trains are heavy and they do not have the ability to swerve or to stop quickly. On the Queensland Rail network trains can travel up to 160km/h and take up to two kilometres to stop in an emergency.

In the 2019-2020 financial year, Queensland Rail recorded seven collisions in Queensland. In addition, there were 211 near miss incidents with 133 in South East Queensland (SEQ) and 78 in regional areas.

It’s important that pedestrians and motorists obey level crossing signs and signals to avoid incidents and save lives.

Safety tips at level crossings

  • Slow down to a speed which allows you to stop quickly.
  • You must stop at a crossing if:
    • There is a stop sign
    • Red lights are flashing
    • The boom arm is in the lowered position
    • The pedestrian gate is closed
    • A traffic controller or emergency services personnel signals you to do so.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Avoid distractions when crossing such as mobile phones and headphones. Your electronic device won’t tell you if a train is approaching.
  • Only enter the crossing when the lights have stopped flashing. Never assume that it is safe to cross when the lights are still flashing. There may be another train approaching from the other direction even if the boom arms are raising.
  • Ensure the way is clear on other side to avoid getting caught. 
  • Never queue in your vehicle through the crossing.
  • Always use the pedestrian walkway and only enter the crossing when the pedestrian gate is open.
  • Never ride bicycles, skateboards, skates or rollerblades across any pedestrian crossing.
  • If using a mobility aid with wheels, always cross at right angles.

Warning signs

You may notice these warning signs ahead of railway crossings.

Gates, booms or lights

It is safe to cross only when the signals have stopped flashing and the gates are fully open.

Stop signals

Not all level crossings have flashing lights or boom gates. At these crossings, always obey the traffic signs and signals before entering.

Key safety initiatives

For the safety of customers, our employees and the communities in which we operate, we are committed to improving level crossing safety through education, engineering, innovation and close collaboration with local authorities and Transport and Main Roads.

  • The Trains Can’t Stop Quickly. You Can. campaign reminds motorists of the importance of obeying level crossing safety signs and signals.
  • Design of a new safety lock on pedestrian gates trialled at Wynnum Central to prevent pedestrians from pushing through the unlocked emergency gates.
  • Level crossing CCTV cameras installed at Bald Hills, Murarrie, Coopers Plains, Geebung, Coorparoo and Salisbury, as well as at regional level crossings including Cooran, Bowen, Brandon and two locations in Cairns.
  • Trial of new wireless communication and radar train detection technology which could reduce the cost of providing improved level crossing safety.
  • Partnering with the Department of Transport and Main Roads to further enhance the introduction of safety camera technology and automatic infringement issuing.
  • Collaboration with the Department of Transport and Main Roads and other local authorities to complete Safety Interface Agreements.