Irish rail has no plans to automate the notorious unmanned level railway crossing at Kilnageere, outside Castlebar.
That was confirmed to Midwest News today by Jane Creggan, spokesperson for Irish Rail.
Earlier this week, a car collided with the afternoon train travelling from Westport to Dublin at the Kilnageere crossing, located between Castlebar and the Manulla Junction.
There were no life threatening injuries reported in the incident, but calls to have the unmanned level crossing at Kilnageere automated has been ongoing by the local community for many years.
It’s situated along the road that links Belcarra to Breaffy.
On our Morning Edition programme this morning Castlebar councillor Ger Deere again called on Irish Rail to automate the crossing.
The level crossing at Kilnageere is regarded as one of the most dangerous in the country due to the number of serious ‘near misses’ between trains and road users there over many years. It has recorded a quarter of all “near misses” on Irish railway crossings in a given year. There are 24 unmanned level crossings nationally.
Midwest News contacted Irish Rail today and asked if the company has any plan to automate the level crossing at Kilnageere and the direct response by Jane Creggan was “not at this time”. She said measures have been taken by Irish Rail to make the level crossing safer, with the installation of new warning lights and signs.
These were installed since the start of the year, but are not operational as yet, but will be commissioned before the end of this month (May). The installed lights are covered over by heavy plastic at present and she explained a safety validation procedure is underway and it will be up to the Commission for Rail Regulation to commission the new installations, due to go live by the end of this month.
She concluded that the new installations are additional safety measures at the Kilnageere level crossing, but insisted it is the responsibility of road users to adhere to the rail crossing system in place.