A London-bound train ploughed into a car at a level crossing but, miraculously, the driver escaped with only minor injuries.
Traffic built up in Clayhithe Road and Station Road near Waterbeach station and all rail journeys through the crossing were stopped after the car was struck by a train.
London-bound Downham Market to London Kings Cross train struck the vehicle on the level crossing at around 5.48pm today (March 29).
Insp Terry Furlong of Cambridgeshire Constabulary said he was not sure how, but no one on the train or in the car sustained serious injuries.
“I can confirm a train has hit a car at the level crossing,” said Insp Furlong. “I am happy to confirm that, apart from minor injuries, there are no deaths or serious injuries. Exactly how that happened I am not certain, but I think it was the quick actions of the train driver that averted a catastrophe.”
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Insp Furlong paid tribute to the train driver and said their quick actions had averted a “potential disaster”.
“We are investigating with the British Transport Police,” he said. “The driver was in the vehicle when the train struck.
“The driver has received minor injuries. The driver of the train managed to keep control and stopped a potential disaster. We will try to get everything back to normal as soon as we can.
“When I see an incident like this come up, my heart sinks. When I saw that no one was hurt, I thought how?. How many hundreds of tons of train? Imagine what could have happened. All those passengers on board.”
'The quick actions of the train driver that averted a catastrophe'
A spokesman for Network Rail said there were not thought to be any problems with the way the level crossing was working.
The spokesman said: “This involved a London-bound Downham Market to London Kings Cross train which struck a vehicle on the level crossing at around 5.48pm.
“The train has remained upright and there are no injuries for anyone on the train. The occupant of the vehicle has been removed by the emergency services. British Transport Police (BTP) are at the scene. From a railway perspective, there is nothing to indicate the level crossing was not working properly at the time.
“We have engineers on site investigating the level crossing and the train. There is no indication of how long the line will be shut for. We cannot move the train off the crossing until BTP have finished.
Greater Anglia said train services between Cambridge and Norwich would terminate and start at Ely until further notice.