The South Coast line alone has almost twice as many level crossings than the entire rail Sydney rail network.
There are 24 crossings on the South Coast line – including 16 with boom gates.
This compares to just 13 across the six rail lines in Sydney – eleven of which feature boom gates.
The level crossings are regularly a target for crackdowns by the Police Transport Command, particularly those in suburban areas.
This is due to repeated incidents of pedestrians running across the level crossings after the boom gates have been lowered.
Transport for NSW has said the crossings at Bellambi and Woonona were among the worst in the state for near misses as pedestrians dart across in front of trains.
Last year Transport for NSW released footage of high school students running across the rail line at Bellambi, just in front of an oncoming train.
A Transport for NSW spokesman said it was government policy to reduce the number of level crossings across the network.
“Where alternative access exists government policy is that level crossings should be closed,” the spokesman said.
“However because closing a level crossing can seriously disrupt access to various town services, this is not always an option for track owners.”
There was also not a focus on reducing the number of crossings in the Sydney area over regional lines like the South Coast line, the spokesman said.
“Transport for NSW does not discriminate between urban and non-urban areas while reducing the number of level crossings,” the spokesman said.
There was no current plans to remove any of the level crossings in Wollongong that are under control of Roads and Maritime Services.
Under the The Public Works and Procurement Act, track owners are required to provide a level crossing when construction of a rail line cuts road or property access.
This is to maintain access to private property and main roads.
When it comes to deaths as a result of cars colliding with trains at level crossings, the problem is far greater outside Sydney.
“There were 11 fatalities in NSW due to collisions between trains and road vehicles between July 2001 and June 2017,” the Transport for NSW spokesman said.
“All were outside the greater Sydney Metropolitan area – which includes the Illawarra.”
It was a different story when it came to pedestrian deaths.
“Seven people died following collisions between trains and pedestrians at level crossings during this period,” the spokesman said.
“Five were within the greater Sydney Metropolitan area.”