Irish Rail has released video footage on social media of a tractor and trailer breaking the descending barrier at a level crossing.

The tractor, which is pulling a flatbed trailer with dozens of bales, can be seen speeding through the rail crossing, at an undisclosed location.

The national rail operator has highlighted a surge in incidents at level crossings this year.

To mark International Level Crossing Awareness Day (Thursday, June 9), Irish Rail has appealed to commercial road users in particular to use the crossings safely.

So far this year, there have been 54 incidents at level crossings across the network, which is up dramatically from 31 for the same period in 2021.

“Some of these incidents have been particularly worrying and have been widely shared on social media,” Irish Rail stated.

The top ten level crossings where incidents have taken place are predominantly in Dublin, as well at Banteer in Co. Cork.

There are currently 909 level crossings on the Irish Rail network made up of automated CCTV crossings, manned crossing and unmanned user operated accommodation crossings, including on farmland.

Irish Rail is working to eliminate as many level crossings as practicable. 69 level crossings were closed between 2014 and 2022.

However, the company has reminded all road users of the onus to use crossings responsibly and has issued the following advice:

  • Automatic crossings: Stop safely when the warning lights begin to flash, never go through crossings when barriers are about to lower, or are lowering;
  • Staff operated crossings: respect gatekeepers and stop immediately when requested;
  • 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.