Kilnageer level crossing

  • The new lights installed by Irish Rail at the notorious Kilnageer railway crossing outside Castlebar, were commissioned yesterday.

    However, it remains a manual crossing, despite being located along a busy road that links Belcarra to Breaffy.

    It has been the scene of numerous collisions where trains and road vehicles have collided, and local road users insist that the new lighting system does little to make the crossing any safer.

    Irish rail insists it has no plans to automate the level crossing at Kilnageer, and rather has commissioned the new lighting system that requires the road user to open 2 sets of gates and to cross a railway line 5 times each time that they want to cross from one side of the line to another.

    Today Irish rail have a man standing at the level crossing and he is handing leaflets about the new lights to passing motorists.

     Midwest News Editor Teresa O’Malley met two local men- Declan Biggins and David Fadden at the crossing and they outlined some of the many hazards involved in getting across the railway line at Kilnageer.

    As you approach the level crossing you now will watch for lights – showing only red or amber, if you don’t see red, you get out of your vehicle and open a sizeable gate that is tied to a roadside fence with string/twine. If you manage that, you then cross the railway line by foot and open the other gate on the opposite side, then get back into car and drive to the white line, at this point you have passed the new lights – you can’t physically see them, you look left and right and drive over to the other side of the road across the railway line and then go back and close both gates again.

    Approaching the railway crossing from the Castlebar side, the new installed light – is actually almost impossible to see, as an old Irish Rail pillar is in your line of vision.

    The fact that there is no green light, only red or amber, is also rather confusing to the road user. Green usually means it’s safe to go for a road user, but there’s no green light at Kilnageer at all, in this new lighting system.

    The local campaign to get this level crossing automated is continuing, the matter is to be raised at next week’s monthly meeting of Castlebar Municipal District. Local cllr Cyril Burke has it as an item on the agenda.

    But just a few weeks ago, following a collision between the train and a road user at Kilnageer, where thankfully no life threatening injuries were sustained, Midwest News contacted Irish Rail and we were told there are no plans to automate the crossing. We were told at that time that the new lighting system would be commissioned before the end of May.

     

  • The campaign to secure a safer level crossing at Kinageer, outside Castlebar is continuing, and Irish Rail has agreed to send a delegation to next Wednesday’s Castlebar Municipal District meeting in response to a request from councillors to do so.

    At the May meeting of the authority, a delegation from the local community that regularly use the busy level crossing at Kilnageer outlined to the council their grave concerns over the safety of the unmanned crossing.

    The level crossing located along the road that links Breaffy to Belcarra has been the scene of numerous collisions over recent years between trains and motor vehicles.

    Councillors agreed with the delegation that the crossing at Kilnageer is not appropriate, despite an upgraded lighting system recently commissioned by Irish Rail at the location.

    The council contacted Irish Rail to ask the company to attend the next meeting of the authority and to address the increasing local safety concerns at the Kilnageer junction.

    Local councillor Cyril Burke told Midwest News Editor Teresa O’Malley that Irish Rail has now agreed to attend the June meeting of the authority, on Wednesday next (June 24th)

  • Councillors have agreed to write to Irish Rail inviting them to address a meeting of the Castlebar Municipal District to hear the concerns of the community who live close to the notorious Kilnageer Level Crossing.

    Three members of the Kilnageer community addressed yesterday's meeting of Castlebar Municipal District raising their safety concerns over the level crossing, which has been the scene of numerous collisions between trains and road vehicles.

    A campaign to make the junction safe has been ongoing for seventy years.

    Last week, new lights installed by Irish Rail were commissioned, but locals say the new system does little to improve safety at the manual crossing.

    The system includes red and amber lights, and also requires the road user to open 2 sets of gates and cross the railway line 5 times, every time they want to cross from one side of the line to the other.

     

  • The Junior Transport Minister Brendan Griffin is being invited to Castlebar, to view at first-hand the concerns of local residents in the Breaffy and Belcarra areas in relation to the Kilnageer level crossing.

    Irish Rail recently commissioned a new lighting warning system at the crossing, but locals claim it does not go far enough to tackle their concerns over safety.

    Kilnageer crossing has been the location of several collisions over the years between trains and road vehicles, and locals are unhappy with the procedure of opening and closing gates to cross the railway line.

    At last week's meeting of the Castlebar Municipal District, local residents outlined their concerns about the level crossing, and Mayo FG TD Alan Dillon has now invited Minister Griffin to visit the location.

    Deputy Dillon also says he's disappointed with the response he received from Irish Rail's CEO on the issue.

  • Irish Rail gave a commitment at yesterday's Castlebar Municipal District meeting that they will seek planning permission for a new bridge, instead of the current notorious level crossing at Kilnageer.

    Three members of Irish Rail attended yesterday's meeting, however, the Kilnageer community remain “cynical” over this commitment.

    Local resident Des Mulligan is questioning whether this is a case of Irish Rail "just kicking the can down the road again".

  • Irish Rail is to hoping to submit a planning application in the next month for an overbridge at the notorious Kilnageer level crossing near Belcarra, Castlebar.

    That's according to Mayo FG Deputy Alan Dillon, who questioned the CEO of Irish Rail Jim Meade on the matter at a recent meeting of the Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications.

    The Kilnageer crossing has been previously described as "dangerous and confusing" as motorists must open and close gates every time they use the level crossing, while a traffic light system installed last year by Irish Rail was unclear.

    Local residents have been calling for an automated crossing or over-bridge for some time.

    Deputy Dillon told Midwest News that Irish Rail are currently seeking letters of consent from affected landowners, and hope to submit a planning application by the end of March for an over-bridge at this location.....