The previous policy was criticised for being too restrictive owing to the fact TasRail required the placement of a track ‘blocking warrant’ prior to the granting of permission from train control to cross the railway.
That process that could see farmers waiting up to 45 minutes before being allowed to cross.
TasRail CEO Damien White said balancing the requirements of the Office of the National Rail Regulator with the company’s workflows and the needs of farmers was no easy task.
“Our aim is to strike a balance between creating a zero harm environment for all stakeholders while providing for a more flexible notification process.”
Under the new policy landowners are required to contact TasRail train control on 03 6335 2557 and provide their contact details and location, via reference to the yellow livestock crossing sign at the crossing, or providing a detailed description of the area in the absence of a sign.
Train control will then provide the caller with details of planned and projected rail movements on that section of track for the next three hours, noting that scope exists for trains to run ahead or behind schedule.
Provided a sufficient window exists to safely cross the track callers are then free to cross.
TasRail will also notify the relevant train driver to expect livestock in the vicinity.
“The really critical thing here is for the farmer to call us back and let us know they have safely crossed the tracks,” Mr White said.
“Otherwise we’ll be effectively operating in the dark.”
Affected livestock managers will be notified by letter along with an on-site visit to assess their individual requirements.
If you believe you use a stock crossing not presently registered with TasRail call Train Control on 03 6335 2556 to register your location.