Yarnton train crash latest

Emergency services on the scene in Yarnton. Photo: ITV Meridian

A man has died and another person is in hospital after a car was hit by a freight train on a rural level crossing.

The dead man is believed to have been the passenger in a blue Renault Kangoo which was hit on the crossing in Sandy Lane, between Kidlington and the village of Yarnton in Oxfordshire, British Transport Police said.

The car driver was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, just six miles away from the crash, with what ambulance staff said were minor injuries.

The driver of the freight train, en route from Trafford Park in Greater Manchester to Southampton, was shaken but uninjured, BTP said.

A police spokesman said: "The driver pulled the emergency brake but was unable to stop in time.

"Officers are working to establish the full circumstances including how the car came to be on the tracks at the time."

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch has been informed, he added.

The crash happened on a rural crossing in a quiet country lane which was reportedly due to be visited by a new speed camera van designed to catch people who attempt to beat barriers before they come down.

The Oxford Mail newspaper reported last month that British Transport Police were rolling out the purpose-built van to crossings in the county where drivers are known to gamble on beating the warning signals and barriers to get across before the train arrives.

It would then collect video evidence for prosecutions.

The paper reported that Sandy Lane was one of those due to be visited.

Train passengers on Cross Country and First Great Western services are being warned that they face delays of up to an hour because of the crash north of Oxford, according to the National Rail Enquiries website.

Trains to destinations including Oxford, Banbury, Basingstoke, Reading, Leamington Spa, Coventry and Birmingham New Street are affected.

Buses are replacing trains between Oxford and Banbury.

First Great Western said it was expecting disruption to continue into the early hours of tomorrow morning.

South Central Ambulance Service confirmed it had taken one person to hospital and treated two others at the scene.

Network Rail said tonight that the crossing in Sandy Lane was in full working order before the crash.

A spokeswoman said it was working with BTP to determine how the accident happened.

"The level crossing was in full working order beforehand," she said.

"The lights were working and the barriers.

"That is part of the investigation so we will be looking at that. There is nothing to suggest it was not working beforehand."

She said there had been a problem at the crossing a year ago, with the barrier rising and falling slowly, but it had been fixed when a treadle, which operates the crossing when triggered by an approaching train, was replaced.