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.
Voluntary work beckons for David Gawne after deciding to retire as a paramedic.
UPDATE: NSW Police have confirmed the body of a Warrnambool woman, 61, who went missing in the Murray River yesterday has been found.
Sixty years ago, March 5, 1954, was a red-letter day for Tatura, when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the first reigning monarch to visit, came to town.
Echuca and Kyabram Fire Brigade will play in today's Goulburn Murray Cricket preliminary final.
Ritchie Aschenbrenner is exhibiting six years worth of paintings, covering a range of styles.
Kyabram's 69th annual rodeo takes place this Friday.
What was expected to be a long wait was anything but as young Seymour man gets heart transplant.
NSW signs historic Murray-Darling Basin Plan agreement.
The History of Tooborac group will be keen for gather more information about its photo collection when the publlic comes to look through its archives.
Three Cobram firefighters have returned safe from the toxic Morwell mine fire in Gippsland.
Gun Rams forward Ash Morris has signed with South Bendigo for the 2014 season and one day hopes to play VFL
Some VIP exotic animals spent the night at Shepparton Regional Saleyards on Wednesday night.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
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.