A group of Goornong farmers are disappointed a rail crossing they use has been left out of V/Line boom gate upgrades along the Bendigo/Echuca line.ELAINE COONEY January 22, 2013 4:33am
Goornong farmer Ross McKinstry will face unlocking and locking a gate near his property up to 40 times a day due to a decision by V/Line to install gates on a crossing instead of an automated boom gate.
Eight Goornong farmers will be forced to lock and unlock a rail crossing multiple times a day following a V/Line decision not to install boom gates.
The gate is located off the highway and is used solely by farmers who need to drive across it to access paddocks on the other side of the road.
V/Line decided to give gate keys to the farmers who use the crossing under the provision they re-lock them after use.
The Victorian Government recently put forward $5.6
The upgrades will allow trains to increase speeds from 80km/h to at least 100km/h.
Goornong farmer Ross McKinstry said he could use the crossing up to 40 times a day while carrying out farm duties and during rainy days it was the only passable crossing from the hay shed to the farm on the opposite side of the highway.
‘‘Every other crossing has boom gates and signals and we are the only exception,’’ he said.
His primary concern was that in the absence of automatic boom gates, the lockable gate system could take up to 20 minutes to go through which could impede on his time significantly while carting hay to and from his hay shed.
He said the farmers might even need to employ someone to operate the gate all day during busy periods.
A spokesperson for V/Line said the installation of the lockable gates was not meant to impede access to the properties, but to ensure the safety of the property owners as well as the passengers and crew on the trains.
‘‘As a responsible rail operator, we have safety as our number one priority,’’ the spokesperson said.
‘‘The process of locking and unlocking the gates means the person will need to stop and get out of their vehicle before driving across the tracks, so they will be more likely to check for approaching trains.
‘‘We want to do everything possible to avoid a collision between a train and a private vehicle or a farm machine at one of these private crossings.’’
Mr McKinstry said he understood this and was happy the train service was improving in the area but felt farmers should not have to pay someone to man the gate.
Each boom gate crossing costs $400,000 and V/Line said it was not feasible to upgrade every crossing in Victoria.
The eight Goornong farmers who use the crossing met with V/Line representatives recently to reverse the decision but did not succeed.
Mr McKinstry said he was disappointed a representative from the City of Greater Bendigo council did not attend.
City of Greater Bendigo Cr James Williams said he agreed a representative should have been present and was not supportive of V/Line’s decision.
Cr Williams said the decision was discriminating against rural residents as it impeded on their daily work.
Mr McKinstry said it was hard to get services in rural areas such as Goornong and felt the farmers were being ignored.
SPC Ardmona KidsTown has featured a beautiful wooden fruit bin maze for about 20 years, but over time the structure has started to deteriorate.
The Yarrawonga Pigeons have suffered a defeat at the hands of the Wangaratta Magpies at Norm Minns Oval in Wangaratta.
One message has come through loud and clear to me during this long campaign
The Moama-Echuca Border Raiders made it three wins from three grades at Harrison Reserve on Sunday in round five of the Bendigo Amateur Soccer League.
TRADIES are usually part of the furniture at the Criterion Hotel on a weeknight, but last Wednesday they shared the space with some Australian political high-flyers.
SPONSORED: TAKE a trip to Bendigo this July and enjoy a country-style holiday, plus a jam-packed program of events at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show 2016.
Avenel win easy
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
THE Australian Hearing Bus is stopping by Heathcote to offer free hearing checks and raise hearing health awareness, to locals in the community.
Udderly delightful merchandise will be on offer around the Cobram district to help support dairy farmers facing tough times after suppliers Murray Goulburn and Fonterra announced price cuts.
Deniliquin’s Kayla Smith will travel to Canada on Wednesday to compete in two major athletics meets.
Murray Goulburn will open with $4.31/kg milk price for the 2016-2017 year.
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.