Train drivers say Lake Bathurst level crossing near Tarago east of Canberra is among the 10 worst level crossings in NSW.
Rail patronage has been rising about 9 per cent annually on the Sydney-Canberra service, which is more reliable these days after recent track maintenance and upgrades.
But the stretch of rail line between Goulburn and the national capital is still in such poor condition the journey over this leg can take up to an hour-and-a-half.
Rail safety organisation TrackSAFE has revealed the 10 worst level crossings in each state, from the perspective of train drivers.
TrackSAFE director and Australasian Railway Association chief executive Bryan Nye says the list has been sent to state and federal transport ministers across the country, to highlight an urgent need for upgrading the dangerous level crossings.
“It is the train drivers who go over the same stretch of track day in, day out, over many years who know where the most risky level crossings are,” Mr Nye said.
Mr Nye says about 70 collisions happen annually at level crossings where road users don't obey the road rules.
Thirty five people die annually from level crossing and trespass incidents.
“TrackSAFE involvement comes from wanting to keep pressure on the issue and allow train drivers to inform the debate,” Mr Nye said.
TrackSAFE spokesman Bob Nanva says most train drivers will see a fatality, or near-collision on the network in the course of their careers.
Too many will never be able to return to work.
TrackSAFE believes the best way of avoiding crashes between cars and trains is to get rid of level crossings.
NSW most dangerous level crossings:
- Tynan Rd, Table Top
- Taylors Rd, Culcairn Grange Rd, Carnegie
- Benambra Rd, Culcairn Main Rd, St Albans
- Hermitage Road level crossing, Belford
- Sheepwash Rd, Calwalla, Glenquarry
- Lake Bathurst level crossing (near Canberra)
- Cemetery Lane, Singleton
- Old Port Rd, Port Kembla Station Lane, Lochinvar
- Glennies Creek Rd, Glennies Creek