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Stay safe at Level Crossings ILCAD 2024

06 June 2024

International Level Crossing Awareness Day 2024

As the international rail industry marks International Level Crossing Awareness Day, Iarnród Éireann has revealed that there have been 28 incidents or near misses recorded at level crossings on the network so far this year, with 12 resulting in crossing damage or injury to the user.

ILCAD is in an initiative of the International Union of Railways (UIC). The theme for this year’s campaign is vulnerable road users.  To mark the day Iarnród Éireann havepartnered with An Garda Síochána and the Road Safety Authority to host information days at 10 level crossings: four in Dublin, two in Mayo, and one each in Westmeath, Roscommon, Kerry and Limerick.

The focus of these information sessions is to inform and educate road users about the dangers of not acting safely at level crossings. These information mornings took place from at the following locations:

Serpentine, Dublin

Kilnageer, Mayo

Minish, Killarney

Sydney Parade, Dublin

Knockaphunta, Mayo

Lisnagry, Limerick

Sutton, Dublin

The Lake, Westmeath (Lough Owel)

Ballacagher, Roscommon

Cosh (east of Sutton), Dublin




Iarnród Éireann has also released footage of incidents at Level Crossings and have appealed for renewed vigilance at level Crossings from all road users, with particular emphasis this year on vulnerable road users, including pedestrians, cyclists, the mobility impaired and e-scooter users.


The Lake crossing (XS008), north of Mullingar at the shores of Lough Owel, is specifically being highlighted as summer begins, as it sees an increase in incidents of railway trespass via the crossing in the summer months.  People swimming, sunbathing and fishing have been reported trespassing on the line by train drivers, and Iarnród Éireann is urging recreational users to avoid a needless summer tragedy, by using the car park and bridge access over the railway line to Lough Owel available one minute’s drive further north, along the N4.


Year to date there have been 28 incidents at level crossings across the network, of which 12 resulted in crossing damage or injury to crossing user. The majority of level crossing incidents involve road vehicles colliding with crossing gates or barriers-resulting in damage to the crossing/barriers. Iarnród Éireann continues to install additional train detection warning systems at User Operated Level Crossings around the country. These measures have now been introduced at 55 user operated level crossings, with a further three to be commissioned in the coming weeks and have been well received within the communities that are served by them.

There are currently 873 level crossings on the Iarnród Éireann network. These are a combination of automated CCTV crossings, manned crossings and unmanned user operated crossings.

As part of the network wide Level crossing elimination programme, Iarnród Éireann is working to eliminate as many level crossings as practicable.

The company has closed 122 crossings over the past decade, and the current number of crossings is down over 60% since the late 1990s.

However, the company reminds users of the onus to use crossings responsibly:

- At automatic crossings: stop safely when the warning lights begin to flash.  Never go through crossings when barriers are about to lower or lowering.
- At staff operated crossings: respect gatekeepers, whose role is to ensure your safety and that of rail users.  Stop immediately when the gatekeeper requests it.
- At user operated crossings: Always stop before crossing to check the line, check the line again after crossing, and always close the gate after use for your safety and that of others.


Almost 300 people die at level crossings across Europe every year and level crossing accidents account for 1% of road deaths in Europe but 31% of all rail fatalities.  Although Ireland’s record is far stronger than the European average, and there have been no level crossing fatalities since 2010, vigilance is essential and Iarnród Éireann is reminding all road users of this.


Jim Meade, Chief Executive of Iarnród Éireann said: “The number of incidents at level crossings is still too high. In recent months, we have had a number of very worrying incidents and level crossings and we would appeal to all road users to obey the rules of the roads at level crossings. They are for everyone’s safety.