Drivers and pedestrians are dicing with death across southeast Queensland, narrowly missing trains travelling up to 140km/h on level crossings.
Drivers and pedestrians are dicing with death across southeast Queensland, narrowly missing trains travelling up to 140km/h on level crossings.

Our most dangerous level crossings revealed

MORE Queenslanders are dicing with death at level crossings, The Courier-Mail can reveal.

News that an increasing number of drivers and pedestrians narrowly avoided disaster at level crossings last financial year comes despite a Queensland Rail campaign warning people of the catastrophic danger.

Startling data shows there were 127 "near-misses" on the Queensland Rail network in the 2018-19 financial year, up on 120 for the previous year.

The biggest increase was in the number of close calls involving motor vehicles, rising from 50 to 56.

Pedestrians are still the most frequent offenders however, with 71 near misses in 2018-19, compared to 70 the previous year.

The new data has prompted public transport advocate Robert Dow to renew calls for dangerous level crossings to be removed by elevating either the road or tracks.

A car slams into a boom gate near Coopers Plains Station in 2017. Cars were involved in near misses along level crossings 127 times in the 2018-19 financial year. Picture: Queensland Rail
A car slams into a boom gate near Coopers Plains Station in 2017. Cars were involved in near misses along level crossings 127 times in the 2018-19 financial year. Picture: Queensland Rail

But Queensland Rail's chief executive Nick Easy said all of the incidents were avoidable.

"In each incident, the motorist or pedestrian failed to adhere to warning signs and proceeded in front of an oncoming train," he said.

The statistics were a reversal of the year prior, when a QR campaign called "Heavy Metal Stops for No One" led to a decrease in near-misses by 19 per cent.

"Trains across our southeast Queensland network travel at speeds of up to 140 kilometres an hour," Mr Easy said.

"They can't swerve to avoid pedestrians or motorists and can take hundreds of metres to stop."

The four most dangerous level crossings were at Warrigal Rd in Fruitgrove, Old Beaudesert Rd in Salisbury, Trinder Crossing at Trinder Park, and Stones Rd in Sunnybank.

Each had four reported near misses between cars and trains over the financial year.

Six near misses between trains and pedestrians were reported at Florence St in Wynnum, the most dangerous.

There were six near misses between pedestrians and trains at the Florence St crossing in Wynnum. Picture: Queensland Rail.
There were six near misses between pedestrians and trains at the Florence St crossing in Wynnum. Picture: Queensland Rail.

Mr Dow said the level crossing removal program had stalled since 2014.

He said level crossings were frustrating for motorists forced to wait in building traffic while trains passed.

Mr Dow warned crossings needed to be removed before Cross River Rail, when boom gates would be forced down more frequently.

"If they want to run more frequent trains, and they plan to, they need to pay close attention to removing level crossings," he said.

"It interferes with the flow of traffic."

"They need to do two a year for the next 10 years."

Over 30 level crossings in Melbourne have been removed in the past five years, compared to none in southeast Queensland since 2014. Picture: Norm Oorloff
Over 30 level crossings in Melbourne have been removed in the past five years, compared to none in southeast Queensland since 2014. Picture: Norm Oorloff

Transport minister Mark Bailey said removing level crossings was an expensive process and two projects, at Coorparoo and Coopers Plains, are estimated to cost $320 million and $200 million.

"Level crossings are already a major issue for motorists and commuters across Brisbane, and we need all levels of government to work together and provide adequate funding to fix them," Minister Bailey said.