Bellambi station warning lights ignored: video

Railway level crossing on Bellambi Lane. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR

Railway level crossing on Bellambi Lane. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR

More people ignore the warning lights at the Bellambi station level crossing than any other on the regional rail network.

As part of Rail Safety Week, NSW TrainLink released figures of the number of illegal trespasses of level crossings in the past 12 months.

The figures were calculated from reports by TrainLink staff, who are required to report any instance of a motorist or pedestrian crossing in front of a train.

According to the statistics, eight incidents were reported at Bellambi, which makes it equal worst with Hamilton level crossing in Newcastle.

Corrimal is the next on the list, with five incidents.

Four incidents of people crossing tracks illegally were reported at Fairy Meadow and Woonona and two at Gerringong and Albion Park.

The statistics did not include crossings where just one trespass was recorded.

Also, the level crossing at Unanderra - which has been the site of several incidents in recent years - was not mentioned.

This is most likely because it is some distance from the station, making it unlikely rail staff would see any illegal crossing.

NSW TrainLink CEO Rob Mason urged people to pay attention to the warning signals at level crossings. 

‘‘The dangers of illegally crossing a rail line are obvious,’’ Mr Mason said.

‘‘It takes up to 570 metres for a passenger train travelling at 100km/h to stop - that’s the length of more than three football fields. A train cannot simply swerve to miss a pedestrian on a level crossing, so the consequences can be deadly.’’

TrainLink NSW has supplied CCTV footage of several incidents on the rail network, which show pedestrians taking their life into their hands.

One, from the Central Coast station of Koolewong shows a man walking on the road.

He walks around the boom gates and, looking left, begins to run across the tracks. He just makes it to the other side before the train comes into view.

At Warnervale a pedestrian sees the train coming but still ducks under the gate and runs in front of the train, which is not slowing to stop at a station.

Some footage from Pendle Hill station doesn’t include a level crossing but is an example of the reckless behaviour of some commuters.

A man can be seen dangling a child off the platform and onto the tracks - possibly to pick up a lost toy - and then lifting them back up  just seconds before a train pulls into the station.

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