Tackling the ‘ghost trains’ running through level crossings

Some trains are travelling through level crossings where the boom gates are raised, admitted a NSW TrainLink spokesman. Picture: Peter Yeldham
Some trains are travelling through level crossings where the boom gates are raised, admitted a NSW TrainLink spokesman. Picture: Peter Yeldham

The problem of “ghost trains” on the South Coast trains is real, but “rare”, according to a NSW Trainlink spokesman.

Earlier this week, the Mercury revealed a problem with the Endeavour fleet of trains travelling through level crossings where the boom gates are still in the air.

The track sensors that control the boom gates do not detect the train is there because its wheels aren’t maintaining constant contact with the track.

The Mercury is only aware of the issue happening at the Kembla Grange level crossing.

“This issue occurs on rare occasions at locations where Endeavour trains are typically operating without customers,” the NSW TrainLink spokesman said.

“Steps have been taken to prevent accidents at level crossings and ensure trains are detected by signalling systems.

“There have been no related accidents.”

The NSW TrainLink spokesman also said safety of commuters, staff and the community was their “number one priority”.

The spokesman said NSW TrainLink was addressing the issue by fixing the trains and had put measures into place until the repairs were completed. 

“Endeavour trains are using special procedures that involve operating at slower speed approaching level crossings in the area to check they are activated and that it is clear for the train to safely pass through the crossing,” the spokesman said.

“New equipment is currently being fitted to the Endeavour fleet and upgrades are being made to infrastructure to help ensure the trains are detected on monitoring systems and level crossings are activated at all times.”

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