Level crossings on private land

Most people are familiar with public level crossings. These are places where our rail line crosses public land (e.g. a public road).

Private level crossings are places where our rail line crosses private land. There are a large number of private level crossings in New Zealand, particularly in rural areas.

If you buy a property with a private level crossing across our tracks, you must apply for a grant, which provides a legal right to use the crossing. A grant is a personal right so does not transfer from the previous owner.

To enquire about a private level crossing, please email level.crossings@kiwirail.co.nz

Rural crossing 960

Please be aware that:

  • We can terminate a grant with three months' notice if the crossing needs to be closed for safety reasons.
  • KiwiRail and the Grantee are jointly responsible for managing the crossing, including safety. We will ensure it's safe to use. You need to make sure everyone using the crossing does so in a safe way, and let us know of any safety concerns.
  • You need to meet the costs of maintaining and upgrading the crossing as you are the party that benefits from it. The safety risk to trains and crossings users is increased if crossings are not maintained.
  • A grant does not give you permanent access to your property, so you need to ensure you have alternative vehicle access.
  • If you want to subdivide, you must ensure any new lots have a legal access from a road. KiwiRail will not consent to a subdivision where the only access is over a level crossing. Please contact us if you are thinking about subdividing your land. If you want to use the crossing for commercial access, you need to apply for a new Grant, as not all crossings are designed for heavy vehicles.

New level crossings

Level crossings are recognised internationally as introducing risk into the rail and road/pathway networks. KiwiRail regards safety as paramount, and endeavours to reduce the number of level crossings in New Zealand through closure and grade separation to make roads safer.

When a new crossing is requested or required, KiwiRail’s preference is for it to be grade separated (above or below the level of the rail network, such as a bridge or tunnel).


For more information please refer to our Level Crossing FAQs.