An open level crossing is the crossing of a railway at grade with other users such as road users or pedestrians. In Queensland from 2001 to 2011, level crossing incidents accounted for around 25% of all rail fatalities and serious injuries.
An elimination of an open level crossing can involve the grade separation of rail traffic from other forms of traffic thereby eliminating any safety concerns while significantly reducing the delays experienced by road users or pedestrians.
Ben Ellis led a study to determine the investment priorities for open level crossing elimination across 21 sites throughout South East Queensland. The 21 sites were ranked and prioritised based on the results of cost-benefit analysis modelling.
The cost-benefit analysis valued the benefits to road users in the form of reduced delays, vehicle operating costs and accidents. The CBA also included benefits to Queensland Rail in the form of reduced costs to attend malfunctioning or damaged boom gates.