It can be challenging meeting the demands of an efficient rail network, while keeping the communities it serves safe. In Southwest NSW, the town of Henty is used to seeing large freight trains passing through, transporting grain from the nearby GrainCorp facility – one of the communities major employers.
Like 79% of Australia’s rail-crossings, it was passive, meaning road users were responsible for their own safety. In some circumstances, this can be hazardous, especially in poor weather conditions.
As part of a program of works to boost safety at the crossing, while minimising disruption to the active rail network the local economy depends on, we were tasked with updating the crossing to an active one. The upgrade was supported with safety features like boom gates, warning signals, along with upgrades to surrounding roads to help manage traffic.
A key challenge was the realignment of the Olympic Highway and Grubben Road, separated by the tracks. With the ease of changing from one road to the other in mind, we created a STRAIL crossing system. ‘Where street meets rail’ the seamless integration of tarmac and tracks makes driving across rail easy, while the installation over existing tracks causes minimal disruption, helong trains run on schedule
With Regional NSW forecast to produce up to 286 million tonnes of freight a year by 2036, the Henty Crossing has given this corner of the state a great head start on keeping up with demands on its infrastructure.