Rail Interface Agreements

The Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator has written to councils outlining changes to the Rail Safety National Law which will come into effect on 1 July 2019. The Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator says it is expanding to road managers new penalties for not complying with requirements for interface agreements at level crossings or road/rail interfaces. While the penalties apply for managers of rail infrastructure and private roads, from next month individuals who manage public roads can be fined a maximum $50,000, and $500,000 for a body corporate.

The Regulator says in the six months to  30 March, there were 16 collisions between a train and road vehicle and three between a train and a person at a level crossing. Four people were killed and five seriously injured. The Regulator says it has worked with rail companies and state Local Government Associations for many years to support rail and road managers to enter interface agreements. However, progress has been slow and there are nearly 50 percent of identified agreements still outstanding, the Regulator’s Chief Executive, Sue McCarrey, says. Interface agreements are used by the Regulator to define the roles and responsibilities of the parties involved in managing risks.

Under the Rail Safety National Law, road managers have a shared responsibility with rail infrastructure managers to identify and assess risks, and enter into agreements with infrastructure managers to manage those risks at level crossings, the Regulator says.