Gibraltar has a runway which crosses an active road at grade (which, due to the peninsula’s geography and the resulting constraints on the airport’s location, happens to be the main road connecting Spain and Gibraltar, thus bringing traffic between the two to a halt whenever the runway is in use), which got me wondering: are there any airports with runways (or, for that matter, taxiways) which have grade crossings with active railroad lines?

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    $\begingroup$ There's a question I didn't know I wanted an answer to :D $\endgroup$ – J. Hougaard Jan 26 at 9:44
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    $\begingroup$ There's at least one more. $\endgroup$ – Harper Jan 26 at 16:34
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    $\begingroup$ @Harper -- if you're referring to the tracks across twy V at KPMD, then those have been OOS for a while (the frog's gone, and there does not appear to be proper gating in the boundary fence where they cross either) $\endgroup$ – UnrecognizedFallingObject Jan 27 at 3:14
  • $\begingroup$ What do you mean by "grade"? In geographical terms I understood it as short for "gradient" i.e. a slope. $\endgroup$ – Paul Johnson Jan 27 at 14:37
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    $\begingroup$ "At grade" is a mainly US expression meaning "at rail height". What Brits call a "level crossing", Americans call a "grade crossing", and in British and American rail terminology, "grade separation" is a method of aligning a junction of two or more surface transport axes at different heights (grades) so that they will not disrupt the traffic flow on other transit routes when they cross each other. $\endgroup$ – Michael Harvey Jan 27 at 15:55

There is at least one:

In Gisborne, New Zealand, there is a freight rail line which crosses the south end of runway 14/32 at Gisborne Airport (GIS). It appears to still be an active line for freight (logging) haulage, as well as occasional passenger excursions.

Gisborne, NZ Airport

Image source: Google Maps, plus own annotation.

This article has some additional pictures and info as well.

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    $\begingroup$ Unusual rail line, it has something that looks like a T-junction with a road (see left of photo) :) $\endgroup$ – terry-s Jan 26 at 12:07
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    $\begingroup$ The line to Gisborne was mothballed in 2012 after erosion damage rendered it unusable. It's since been reopened for logging traffic as far as Wairoa, but the section crossing the runway at Gisborne remains out of service. $\endgroup$ – Redd Herring Jan 26 at 14:55
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    $\begingroup$ If you look carefully the road is to the north of the rail line, and crosses just south of that t-junction. $\endgroup$ – james Jan 26 at 16:16
  • $\begingroup$ @james if you go to Google maps and zoom in to street view, you'll see that it's an actual grade crossing with Aerodrome Rd. not a t-junction. Trains tend to have issues with 90° turns... $\endgroup$ – FreeMan Jan 30 at 15:14

There’s at least another one (not an active crossing anymore though):

Wynyard Airport, on Tasmania's north-western coast, was quite unusual in that it was one of the few airports in the world to have a railway crossing on a runway.

See link.

Edit: Further down my favourite search engine‘s results, there’s evidence that very question has been discussed elsewhere.


Their is a lightly used freight line crossing the runway at Filton airport, Bristol, UK. Not sure if Filton is still in use as Airbus industries no longer fly their Beluga Airbus from there. As a train driver, i worked freight locos across the branch line. We had a signal either side of the runway interlocked with a signal cabin .

  • $\begingroup$ Filton airport's runway seems to be closed for now...and it also appears the rail ROW that crossed the runway no longer has tracks on it $\endgroup$ – UnrecognizedFallingObject Jan 30 at 4:26
  • $\begingroup$ @UnrecognizedFallingObject Hi thanks . Yes, its many years since i worked in that area? and the factory the line served had been out of use for a few years. We just used to reverse a loco there. As for the airport, did wonder as Airbus moved away and did here it was to be used for housing . Was not sure if general aviation still used it. $\endgroup$ – keith jackson Jan 30 at 23:24

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