Members of the Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) have been given some updated advice on managing their silage harvesting operations when travelling over Unattended Railway Level Crossings. An Unattended Level Crossing is one where the user opens and shuts the gates. These level crossings are also known as Accommodation Level Crossings. Some of them are located on public roads over which silage harvesting traffic will pass.
The new Iarnród Éireann booklet for farm contractors and farmers does not necessarily cover every situation that may arise in the course of using a level crossing. It is the responsibility of the user to ensure that it is safe to cross and that the railway and other users of the railway are not endangered.
The message is that if you intend undertaking an activity, such as silage making across an unattended level crossing, involving repeated movements of vehicles across the railway, then you should make prior arrangements with Iarnród Éireann to have special protection provided. Give at least 48 hours notice.
- No such movements may take place across the railway until the special protection, which could involve the provision of an Iarnród Éireann flagman, is in place. All instructions given by the flagman must be fully obeyed at all times in relation to the crossing of the line.
- If farmers employ you as an outside contractor to carry out work of any kind then the above arrangements must apply, and it is the farmers responsibility to see that the contractor is fully aware of the safety requirements at the crossing. The crossing of members of the public at field to field crossings is not allowed as it is not a normal agricultural active.
- Where the current widening agreement has been entered into, Iarnród Éireann will pay 50% of the flagman cost.