Trains & level crossings

A summary of the key road rules at train level crossings

A railway level crossing is where a road and a railway cross at the same level. The crossing may have level crossing signs and/or yellow criss-cross lines painted on the road.

Rules for drivers

At level crossings drivers must:

  • obey stop, give way and other signs and signals 
  • keep clear of the train tracks and not enter the crossing unless there is room for your vehicle on the other side of the tracks
  • not stop on an area painted with yellow criss-cross lines.

If a level crossing has gates, booms, or flashing lights, you must not start to cross until the signals have stopped flashing and the gates or booms are fully open.

Always keep tracks clear

Always keep tracks clear, even if you can't see a train. It’s a rule to live by every single day—and it could save your life.

Stop when the red lights are flashing 

If you’re driving in regional areas, you might see railway crossings with lights and bells – but no gates.

Always stop when the railway crossing lights are flashing and the bells are ringing. You must not start to drive across until the lights have stopped flashing. 

Obey the stop sign

At railway crossings that do not have barriers or lights, you must slow down and obey ‘stop’ and ‘give way’ signs. 

By slowing down, you will be able to stop in time if a train is coming and avoid a collision.

Farm crossings

  • Take care when using farm crossings. When entering a property, stop well clear of the tracks, open the gate then drive across after looking and listening for approaching trains. 
  • At many farm crossings you must call a number on a sign to check when the next train is due to make sure you don’t cause a collision. 
  • When leaving a property, never park a vehicle on the tracks while closing a gate. In the time it takes to open and close a gate, a train might be coming.

Truck drivers

  • Heavy vehicle drivers need to think about stopping distances. Some crossings have lights and boom gates while others have a stop or give-way sign.  
  • Make sure you give your truck enough time to stop. You also need to make sure your path is clear before you start to cross. 

Rules for pedestrians

As a pedestrian you must not cross the train tracks at a level crossing unless you use an area made for pedestrians. If there is no area for pedestrians, you must cross the track within 20 metres of the level crossing.

You must not cross at a level crossing if:

  • warning lights are flashing 
  • warning bells are ringing
  • a gate, boom or barrier is closing
  • a train is approaching or entering the crossing.

Penalties

The penalties for disobeying the rules at level crossings include fines and demerit points.

The rules in detail

The Victorian road rules are published in Road Safety Road Rules 2009 (External link)

The key road rules and reference numbers regarding level crossings are:

  • 120 - What is a level crossing 
  • 121 - Stopping and giving way at a stop sign at a level crossing
  • 122 - Giving way at a give way sign or give way line at a level crossing
  • 123 - Entering a level crossing when a train or tram is approaching etc.
  • 124 - Leaving a level crossing
  • 175 - Stopping on or near a level crossing
  • 235 - Crossing a level crossing
  • 235A - Crossing a pedestrian level crossing that has a red pedestrian light

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