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Infrastructure agreements

The Rail Safety National Law includes a requirement for interface agreements between road and rail infrastructure managers to identify risks to safety at level crossings and determine measures to manage those risks.

What is an interface agreement

An interface agreement is a written agreement for managing risks in relation to level crossings.

Who enters an interface agreement

  • Road and rail infrastructure managers are required to enter interface agreements for level crossings on their networks. Rail infrastructure managers in NSW include the Australian Rail Track Corporation, John Holland Rail, Sydney Trains, TfNSW, and infrastructure managers of isolated and private lines. Road infrastructure managers include Roads and Maritime Services, the Minister for Transport (in relation to Crown roads), local councils, and owners of private roads.

When interface agreements need to be in place

  • The Rail Safety National Law requires interface agreements between road and rail infrastructure managers to be in place for all NSW level crossings.

More information

For further information on requirements for Interface Agreements under the National Law.

Information for local government

Local councils are responsible for managing the roads at 90 per cent of NSW public level crossings and therefore are key participants in safety management at level crossings. Local government provides input to TfNSW Level Crossing Improvement Program and are required to consider level crossings in their planning and development activities.

Local councils maintain the road infrastructure associated with level crossings and are jointly responsible for reducing risk with rail infrastructure managers for level crossings in their areas.

For example: local government is responsible for providing and maintaining warning signs on the approaches to level crossings in accordance with Australian Standard AS1742.7 2016. Local councils are required to have interface agreements in place by 1 January 2012 with the appropriate rail infrastructure manager for level crossings on their local roads.

Local government's role in the safety improvement program

Council's:

  • Provide road and pedestrian data for use in assessments, such as ALCAM assessments. Accuracy of input data is critical to the assessment outcomes
  • Fund contributions to improvements
  • Provide road and pedestrian safety data for improvement proposals such as road width and pedestrian access mobility plans (PAMPS) to help determine the need for improved pedestrian facilities and develop options for level crossing closures/alternative routes
  • Provide engineering support such as road markings and signage to road upgrades, and contributing to the coordination of road and rail works when new facilities are brought into use
  • Keep the community informed of changes.

Local government's role in approving developments involving level crossings

Under the State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) 2007 consent authorities are required to notify the relevant rail authority when considering a development application that may require a:

  • New level crossing
  • Conversion of a private road into a public road which has a level crossing
  • Application that is likely to significantly increase the number of vehicles or trucks using a level crossing.

A consent authority must not grant consent to such developments without the concurrence of the chief executive officer of the rail authority for the rail corridor. More information is available in the State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) 2007.

Maintenance requirements for level crossings

Maintenance requirements for level crossings are based in the Australian Standard 1742.7 "Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices 2016".

This standard specifies what traffic control equipment is to be used to control and warn traffic in advance of and at level crossings. It specifies the way in which this equipment is to be used to achieve the level of traffic control required for the safety of rail traffic and road users. Requirements and guidance are also given on the illumination and reflection of signs, on their installation and location, and on selecting the appropriate sign size.

Road owner maintenance issues include:

  • Road approach warning signs
  • Road markings at the crossing
  • Road approaches and departures
  • Vegetation control on the road corridor
  • Ensuring that vehicles stopped at the crossing have maximum visibility of trains
  • Regular inspection and maintenance of signs and road markings
  • Monitoring and assessing the adequacy of the control available.

Rail owner maintenance issues include:

  • The traffic control available at the crossing: Stop and Give Way signs, flashing lights and boom gates
  • Regular inspection and maintenance of the above signs, equipment and rail infrastructure
  • Vegetation control inside the rail corridor
  • Ensuring that vehicles stopped at the crossing have maximum visibility of trains
  • Monitoring and assessing the adequacy of the control available.

Last updated: 11 January 2017