Rail Tram and Bus Union Queensland Branch
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Level Crossing Safety Trials

28 March 2013

The RTBU has been campaigning vigorously both state-wide and nationally for improved safety standards around level crossings for a number of years to protect the lives of our Traincrew and other rail workers as well as the travelling public.

Statistics on accidents and near misses are still far too high and the Union believes that the rail industry should be looking at the smart technology that is available today to reduce the level of risk around level crossings.

You may be aware that in June last year the State Government announced that they would commit $1 million dollars to test innovative solutions to make open level crossings across Queensland safer.

We have just received confirmation that the Pixie System which was developed by NFA Innovations Pty Ltd, a Townsville based firm, has been successful in securing a contract with the Government to trial their system on the Queensland Rail Network.

The Pixie System is a radio break-in system that warns vehicles to stop as they approach level crossings. As a train approaches a level crossing it will send out a radio transmitted signal to any approaching vehicles warning them to stop through the radio speakers installed in a vehicle.

It will operate whether the radio is switched on or off in the vehicle at a pre-determined volume muting out any other music, etc. that is playing at the time, similar to what occurs on an aircraft when the captain gives passengers an update on arrival time at a destination.

The system has already been successfully trialled in Victoria where a “Proof of Concept” document was compiled.

This device is an added protection to the other safety devices that are already in place and is very cost effective when compared to the traditional safety systems utilised.

While the Pixie System may not be the silver bullet to overcome all potential incidents in the future we believe that it will go a long way in reducing the unacceptable number of accidents and near misses that occur on a daily basis.

The RTBU welcomes the trials about to commence and are optimistic in respect to the Government’s obligation to follow through with implementation of the system once it is proven to be reliable.

This Union will closely monitor the trials and will continue to campaign publicly for improved safety measures around level crossings both at a state and national level.

Unity is Strength

Owen Doogan,
State Secretary
Queensland Branch