Everything you need to know about level crossings

A train cannot swerve and may need up to one kilometre to come to a stop. Following the traffic rules at level crossings is a matter of life and death.

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Should you get caught between the barriers, drive right through them! The barriers are designed to be driven through in case of an emergency. Photo: Bane NOR

Be cautious at level crossings!

Ignoring the traffic rules at a level crossing puts lives at risk.

You must yield for the train. Do not take risks. The train needs long time to stop. Do not cross the level crossing if there is a chance that a train is nearby. The train cannot stop abruptly, and its braking distance is too long to avoid collision. Therefore, attentiveness and obedience at level crossings is crucial.  

In dangerous situations, call emergency services:

More information

If you see something in or near the tracks that is potentially dangerous, call the police right away.

Examples of such situations might be

  • animals or people in and around the tracks
  • other emergencies

Safety rules for level crossings with barriers, lights, and sound warnings. 

If you get caught between the barriers, you should drive right through them! The barriers are designed to be broken easily in case of an emergency.

It is prohibited to cross a level crossing when a train may be approaching!

See the checklist for secured level crossings with barriers, lights, and sound warnings:

  1. White flashing lights: You may cross the level crossing in accordance with the traffic rules. Meanwhile, you should always remember to watch for trains even if the crossing is secured. 
  2. In case of a traffic jam: Wait to drive onto the level crossing until you have enough space to cross without having to stop. 
  3. Red flashing lights and sound warnings: These warnings indicate that the barriers are lowering. If you have already begun to cross, you may complete the crossing before the barriers are lowered. All other approaching traffic should stop at a safe distance. 
  4. Caught between the barriers: If you find yourself caught between the barriers, you should drive through them. The barriers are designed to break easily. It is better to drive through them than to be hit by the train. If you are prevented by driving conditions, leave the vehicle immediately and get people to safety as soon as possible.
  5. Engine failure or stuck vehicle: Should you experience engine failure or your vehicle gets stuck on the rails, exit the vehicle immediately and get everyone to safety right away. 
  6. Wait for the red flashing lights to stop: Do not cross until the red lights have stopped flashing. Remember that even if one train has passed, another may follow!

Safety rules on private roads with unsecured level crossings

An unsecured level crossing is a crossing without any other safety measures than signs and/or gates. These are only found in areas where there are few road users crossing the railway and are all on private roads.

At such level crossings, additional safety measures are often implemented. These may include warning lights, gates, and agreements with the landowner that restrict the use of the crossing.

In several locations, we have established routines where the road user intending to cross must first contact the railway control in order to obtain permission. This particularly applies to level crossings used for activities relating to forestry and agriculture during certain parts of the year.

In areas with poor visibility, we have reduced the train speeds to make crossing safer; however, this is not an ideal solution as it creates challenges for train traffic. 

Therefore, we are working to find alternative solutions that provide sufficient security.