DREAD: David Page has campaigned for four years for flashing lights to be installed at the Kyogle rail crossing where Bronwyn Callaghan died after her car was hit by an XPT. The train track runs adjacent to his property.
DREAD: David Page has campaigned for four years for flashing lights to be installed at the Kyogle rail crossing where Bronwyn Callaghan died after her car was hit by an XPT. The train track runs adjacent to his property. Susanna Freymark

Campaigning to save lives at rail crossings

DAVID PAGE reckons he has aged a lot since June 14.

When Bronwyn Callaghan's car was hit by a train at the Yongurra Rd crossing in Kyogle, he thought it was his daughter's car.

It was a misty morning and from his home across the paddock, it looked like it was the colour of his daughter's car.

It could have been someone in his family or friends that live near the crossing.

More than a dozen households are on the other side of the train track and residents have to cross the rail line daily.

Mr Page has been campaigning for four years to get flashing lights installed at the crossing.

"Nearly everyone who lives here has had a near-miss with the train," Mr Page said.

Many factors make the crossing more dangerous than most. There is a steep rise to the crossing on the Andrew Rd side, and with the train tracks curving away at both sides, there is only about 200m of track to view oncoming trains.

It is often worse on the Yongurra side because the long grass hides the track.

"It is known as the silent death," Mr Page said because the XPT is so fast and quiet.

The morning Ms Callaghan's car was struck was a day Mr Page, who has lived at the property for 35 years, was dreading.

He has a leather file of letters he has written to Kyogle Council and the Australian Rail Track Corporation asking for the crossing to be made safer.

One death is one too many and we're now campaigning for this crossing to be made safer.

We invite the Transport and Infrastructure Minster Andrew Constance to come to Kyogle to see how dangerous this crossing is and how easy it would be to keep our community safe.

The Express Examiner asked Transport and Infrastructure Minister Andrew Constance for a comment.

Here is the reply attributed to a New South Wales Transport spokesperson:

"Our hearts go out to the family, and to everyone involved, as everyone's does, but we need to continue to work hard to ensure tragedies like these don't happen again.

"Level crossing safety is a major area of focus for us and plays a part of our massive effort to drive the road toll towards zero.

"We also have a strong partnership with police to educate the community, enforce safe behaviour, save lives and prevent injuries around level crossings.

"Every year we work with police on three to four localised campaigns, targeting driver non-compliance behaviours at level crossings.

" In each area we home in on two or three crossings where highly visible police enforcement is concentrated."

We also asked the Australian Rail Track Corporation for a comment about when the investigation into Ms Callaghan's fatal crash would be released but we received no reply before print deadline.



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