De­lay causes frus­tra­tion

The Tatura Guardian - - News - By

A Tatura res­i­dent was left wait­ing for a train at the Watt Rd level cross­ing near Mooroopna on her way to work for 47 min­utes on Tues­day last week.

The res­i­dent, who did not wished to be named, con­tacted the Shep­par­ton News and said the wait left her 45 min­utes late from work and was ab­so­lutely not ac­cept­able.

‘‘That is def­i­nitely not nor­mal, espe­cially when you can­not ac­tu­ally see a train and you’re con­stantly look­ing up the tracks think­ing, ‘is this a fault?’,’’ she said.

‘‘I was prob­a­bly five or six cars back to be­gin with on the Mooroopna side (of the tracks).

‘‘Then prob­a­bly 10 to 15 min­utes into it peo­ple started do­ing U-turns and driv­ing on the wrong side of the road through the boom gates, which gotme closer to the front — but I wasn’t go­ing any­where.’’

Driv­ers are be­ing urged to obey rail­way sig­nals fol­low­ing the in­ci­dent, which was the sec­ond time in five weeks driv­ers were cap­tured on cam­era ig­nor­ing flash­ing lights and driv­ing around boom gates as frus­tra­tions grew.

Shep­par­ton High­way Pa­trol Act­ing Se­nior Sergeant David Gille­spie said while the length of time some boom gates were down could be frus­trat­ing, they came down for a rea­son.

‘‘If the boom gates come down for some length of time and it frus­trates driv­ers, do not go around those boom gates at all,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s ex­tremely dan­ger­ous be­hav­iour, if they’re re­ally con­cerned per­haps they can con­tact the lo­cal po­lice sta­tion to in­form them of the boom gate sit­u­a­tion.

‘‘Ei­ther way, you can’t pro­ceed through there.’’

The wait time, ac­cord­ing to V/Line was ab­nor­mal and a spokesper­son said the boom gates were low­ered more than half an hour longer than nor­mal on Tues­day, from 8.48 am to 9.40 am.

They said on Tues­days and Thurs­days a freight train was sched­uled to com­plete shunt­ing move­ments in the sid­ings at Mooroopna sta­tion, which ac­ti­vated the Watt Rd level cross­ing for 20 min­utes.

The wait was not due to a fault at the level cross­ing and V/Line will li­aise with the freight op­er­a­tor to un­der­stand the rea­sons the shunt took longer than sched­uled.

They said they would look at on­go­ing ways to min­imise dis­rup­tions to mo­torists and were also set to com­plete a risk re­view.

The re­view will take into ac­count the num­ber of cars us­ing the Watt Rd cross­ing, the de­sign of equip­ment and if the shunt­ing move­ment can take place at an­other time.

Sen Sgt Gille­spie said the penalty for ig­nor­ing flash­ing lights and driv­ing around boom gates to cross rail­way tracks was a $777 and the loss of four de­merit points.

‘‘You can also risk hav­ing your car im­pounded un­der cer­tain cir­cum­stances but the big­gest risk is hav­ing a col­li­sion, all be­cause the boom gates have been down for a long time and it’s frus­trat­ing you,’’ he said.

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