Thursday, 27 September 2018 07:55

Better deal on farm rail crossings

Written by 
Farmers are happy KiwiRail is setting out to make a formal, legal record of all rail crossings. Farmers are happy KiwiRail is setting out to make a formal, legal record of all rail crossings.

Farmers are happy with KiwiRail’s new policy on private rail crossings.

The state-owned company is setting out to make a formal, legal record of all rail crossings; about 1300 private crossings exist along train tracks in New Zealand, with about 700 either undocumented or unauthorised.

KiwiRail spokesman David Gordon says it wants to help the public and its employees get home safe each day.

“So we need to know where people are crossing our tracks and ensure they are doing it safely.

“That requires a formal, legal record of all crossings, and we need to know they are up to standard in the approach, sight lines, signs and formation.”

Gordon says the policy follows talks with Federated Farmers and others.

He says KiwiRail is seeking only to recover its costs in this project. No set annual fee will be charged, as was proposed two years ago. Instead, most farmers will be charged only the cost of inspecting crossings on their land -- estimated at $50 to $100 per crossing, with inspections every two years.

Farmers will be responsible for the cost of any work needed make sure the crossing is safe to use. This generally includes removing vegetation to give adequate views, paying to maintain the road/track surface, and any other work required to meet safety standards and prevent damage to the track, says Gordon. 

“The costs for this work will vary.

“We’ve worked hard to develop a policy that is fair, and which is also safe.”

Feds president Katie Milne says it appreciates that KiwiRail has listened to its views before setting the charges.

“However, there is a concern that some informal rail crossings will be closed because the safety concerns are considered too great. That’s going to be difficult for farmers if that was their only route for accessing parts of their farm,” Milne says.

 

More like this

Front up about the mistakes — Hoggard

As well as laying out its new strategy, Fonterra should make clearer how it got into this trouble, says Federated Farmers national vice-president and dairy farmer Andrew Hoggard.

What ethics?

Your old mate just about choked on his bone when he read a media release from the multinational, tax dodging, perennially anti farming organisation Greenpeace calling on Feds to stop “kicking farmers”.

Gun register likely to misfire – Feds

Misgivings about the practicality and cost of a firearms register are likely to dominate feedback from rural people on the second round of proposed Arms Act amendments, says Federated Farmers.

 
 

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Milk on tap

The days of cafes getting milk in plastic bottles may be numbered if two young Dunedin entrepreneurs have their way.

Behind the eight ball

Global animal health company DSM says it has a product that can help reduce emissions from cows by up to…

» Connect with Dairy News