Increasing rail traffic to the Port of Tauranga is creating more hazards at rail crossings.
As a result, KiwiRail wants motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to take care at level crossings in the Hamilton, Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions as the extra trains run between Hamilton, Tauranga and Mt Maunganui.
KiwiRail has also begun running additional freight services along the East Coast main trunk line to and from the Port of Tauranga while about 14 return services operate daily along the line Waikato-Bay of Plenty line.
"We are urging everyone to be careful around all level crossings along this route," says KiwiRail infrastructure and engineering general manager Rick van Barneveld.
"It is already a busy rail route but it is easy for people to become accustomed to train traffic in areas they drive around regularly, so we are urging people to take extra caution at railway lines.
Train schedules change and so people should expect a train at any time.
"The warning signs around railway lines are there for a reason - to protect people and warn them when a train is approaching.
"At all times, we are asking people to take care and be aware around the railway, to always obey the signs and make sure the lines are clear before crossing," he says.