Access private property via a rail corridor

An occupation crossing provides access between two parcels of land owned by the same land owner that have been divided by a rail corridor. It is sometimes referred to as a Section 36 crossing.


Occupation crossings were historically granted to a landowner under Section 36 of the Lands Compensation Statute 1869 VIC and the subsequent corresponding legislation being Section 43 (2) of the Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986 VIC.

The granting of Section 36 crossing rights recognised the landowner’s ongoing need to access their land remaining in common ownership on both sides of the acquired land.

General principles

The general principles applicable to these crossings are:

  • The crossings were provided for the use of the landowner including visitors and others accessing the property.
  • An occupation right was mapped by the rail authority at the time of the land being taken to allow for construction of a rail corridor.
  • The railway authority was not bound to consider any prospective or different use, in particular there was no obligation to adapt the crossing to any change of use that would increase the intensity of use and burden on the crossing.
  • There is no time restriction on the use and operation of the crossings, which are maintained by the rail operator.

Generally an occupation crossing right can be terminated in these ways:

  • If a change of use of the crossing occurs and/or substantially increases the burden on the crossing, the crossing may be terminated. For example where a business has been established on one side of the crossing that now requires additional vehicular movements across the crossing, the right may be terminated and alternative access must be arranged.
  • The crossing will be terminated if the landowner agrees to terminate by agreement with the relevant rail operator.
  • Under the Rail Management Act 1996, by the Secretary of the Department of Transport.

If the above information does not apply to your property, you can apply for an access license.


Please note that information contained on this website is provided in summary form and for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice. Please read our disclaimer.


If you have any further questions, please contact our Property Customer Service Coordinator on 03 9619 8889 or at

Our role

We are a state-owned organisation with an independent Board. We are the owners of Victoria’s transport assets, and work alongside

Most of our railway land, assets and buildings are leased to the public transport operators, and they are responsible for maintaining the assets leased to them.