It seems the train folk are going to have boom gates lowering earlier when a train is imminent at 46 level crossings. The new trains to be delivered next year accelerate faster and so there is concern that there is not enough of a margin between when the boom gates are activated and the arrival of the train. We have to trust that they have a valid point and accept this, I suppose. As frustrating as sitting in your car at level crossing can be, you need to use some logic about it, accepting that you are perhaps one person in a car while up 1,000 people pass by in the train. God forbid that all those people would be on the road in cars too.
But something could very easily done to speed up the level crossing waiting time for motorists and that is the often ridiculously long period between when the train clears the crossing and the booms begin to rise.
This footage was taken at Gardiner Station. Works are underway to put the trains underground at this location as the level crossing does cause massive traffic problems. The train must travel slowly as it crosses tram tracks.
You don't need to watch all of this video. At 2.52 the rear of the train clears the crossing. 19 seconds later at 3.01 the booms begin to rise. That is heading towards half a minute and for what reason? I would have thought 5 seconds or less is enough. It is probably a full minute before the booms are fully raised and the traffic lights turn green and traffic can move again. This could be cut down to much less with today's technology, even yesterday's technology.
I think I have posted this video before or one similar of a redundant but still operational level crossing near Pakenham in Gippsland, Victoria.
For some amusement, construction of the Pakenham Bypass began in April 2005 and I assume the crossing was closed soon after, yet by October 2008, the bells and lights were still operating and the booms still coming down, in spite of there being no road. I believe the equipment has been removed now. Sometimes our train organisations are less than perfect.