You're coming up to a railway level crossing. Which of these should you do? Check all that apply. You're coming up to a railway level crossing. Which of these should you do? Check all that apply.

  • A. If there are no barrier arms, it's safe to continue at the speed you're travelling at because that railway line isn't used

  • B. Slow down and get ready to stop

  • C. Check each way before proceeding across

  • D. Only cross if there's nothing blocking your path and there are no trains coming

  •  
    The correct answer is B, C, D
     
    Correct - just because there are no barriers doesn't mean that the line isn't used.
     
 
 
 

Approaching a railway level crossing

As you are coming up to a railway level crossing, slow down and be ready to stop if necessary, check each way before proceeding to cross, and only cross if there's nothing blocking your path and there are no trains coming.

Types of railway crossing

In New Zealand we have several types of railway crossing.

Level crossings

A railway level crossing is where the tracks cross over the road at the same level, i.e. road users must drive across the tracks. These can be uncontrolled (give way or stop sign) or controlled (lights, sirens and/or barrier arms).

There are around 3000 railway level crossings in New Zealand, some on public land and some on private land. Around half of them are uncontrolled.

Tunnels and cuttings

Trains can pass under roads using tunnels and cuttings (where the railway is dug into a channel and the road passes of the top of it over a bridge).

Bridges

Trains can pass over roads on bridges, such as this one over The Strand in Auckland.

railway bridge over The Strand, Auckland

Railway bridges only need signage if their height is restricted. Bridges over a railway only need signage if there is some kind of restriction for certain types of vehicles, for example, a weight or width restriction.

Railway level crossings, however, need much more signage to warn road users that they are approaching an obstacle for which they might have to stop and give way to a train.

Typical signs when approaching a railway level crossing

Train sign Crossbuck railway crossing sign Railway at an angle to the road sign Railway on road to the right sign

You can find a full list of all the signs and rules used for railway level crossings in New Zealand by clicking here.