Safe railways for Australia

Interface agreements


The Rail Safety National Law (RSNL) requires that rail transport operators and road managers coordinate actions at a rail or road crossing to ensure that the safety risks have been identified and are minimised so far as is reasonably practicable. They must each:

  • identify and assess risks to safety arising from rail or road crossings
  • determine measures to manage – so far as is reasonably practicable – those risks
  • seek to enter into interface agreements with the rail and/or road manager to manage the risks.

The specific responsibilities of each are described in sections 106-108 of the RSNL.

An interface agreement is a formal written agreement between the responsible road and/or rail managers. The format of the agreement may be determined by the parties but it must include the matters specified under section 105 of the RSNL, such as responsibilities of parties for implementing measures and a process for monitoring these, and ensuring that new risks are also identified and minimised over time. A template is also available for use.

Rail or road crossings include:

  • a level crossing
  • an area where a road and a tramway meet at substantially the same level, where there is no level crossing sign on the road at all or any of the entrances to the area
  • an area where a footpath or shared path crosses a tramway at substantially the same level, where there is no level crossing sign on the path at all or any of the entrances to the area;
  • a bridge carrying a road over a railway
  • a bridge carrying a railway over a road
  • a lane of a road on which rolling stock moves alongside road vehicles on the road

Penalties may apply to rail transport operators and road managers who breach their requirements at a rail or road crossing.

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Last updated: 21 June 2019