RAIL FAIL: A boom gate failure shut down John St at Rosewood for two hours on July 14.
RAIL FAIL: A boom gate failure shut down John St at Rosewood for two hours on July 14. David Pahlke

Monitoring technology installed to reduce rail fail gridlock

A LEVEL train crossing that cuts an Ipswich town in half will undergo major renovations in an attempt to limit the impacts of boom gate failures.

Close to a million dollars will be spent on the level crossing on John St at Rosewood to reduce the bedlam major failures create.

It comes as the town became gridlocked on July 14 when a fault blocked the level crossing for hours in peak afternoon traffic.

The upgrade will begin with improved CCTV that will enhance Queensland Rail's monitoring capabilities at the site, improving its performance and making it less difficult for motorists and commuters when failures happen.

Then, new boom arms, boom mechanisms and a control hut will be installed, improving reliability and reducing maintenance requirements and associated costs.

The works come with a bill of $700,000 to the state government and works will begin in early 2018.

Ipswich West MP Jim Madden said the crossing cut straight through the middle of the Rosewood CBD and failures had substantial impacts on businesses and commuters as the nearest second crossing was 4km away.

He said he was pitching to the Department of Transport and Main Roads to carry out further road works at the same time to prevent cars queuing on the crossing at John St from blocking nearby intersections.

"The road was impacted for about two hours on July 14 and there has been four failures over the last six months," he said.

"This is a unique situation, one half of the town is on one side of the rail line and the other half is on the other side."

Rosewood News co-owners Robyn McGrath and Sue Krause with Cr David Pahlke.
Rosewood News co-owners Robyn McGrath and Sue Krause with Cr David Pahlke. David Nielsen

Rosewood Newsagency owner Sur Krause has spent 13 years watching traffic back on John St as boom gate failures cut the main business strip off from the rest of the town.

She said failures had the biggest impact during school and peak times when parents were stranded on the wrong side of the crossing to the school.

"It depends what time of day it happens as to what sort of impact is has but the worst time is peak hours. When that happens people start to get impatient," Ms Krause said.

"There have been a couple of major failures over the years like the one in July."

The John St crossing was selected following Queensland Rail community feedback and routine reviews to identify priority sites for improvement.

The works are part of a $7 million level crossing upgrade program being delivered at 17 priority sites across South East Queensland.

Rosewood Rail fail timeline

  • March 24. A pedestrian gate issue caused outage of three and a half hours.
  • May 24. There was boom motor contact failure but the outage was resolved in under ten minutes. Repair required an outage of 15 minutes when the response staff arrived on site.
  • June 2. A vehicle dislodged a boom arm and the crossing was closed for repairs just over two and a half hours
  • July 14. Track failure affected the crossing and the was an outage for repairs for close to two hours.

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