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Train crashes into car in Halling blocking railway line

By Jess Sharp

Railway lines have been blocked after a train hit a car.

British Transport Police and paramedics raced to the scene and all lines between Strood and Maidstone West were blocked for several hours.

The line has since reopened after the incident at a level crossing near Halling.

The aftermath of the crash

The train was travelling towards Maidstone West.

Jamie Smith, who was a passenger on the train, told KentOnline: “I was sat at the back of the train and felt the train slam on the brakes.

“I looked out the window and saw a silver car scraping against the side of the train.

“I was at the back so I just assumed we hit the car.

Emergency services at the level crossing in Halling
Emergency services at the level crossing in Halling
The scene at the level crossing at Halling
The scene at the level crossing at Halling

“Everyone was wondering what was going on, we knew the train was coming to an emergency stop but a lot of people wouldn’t have seen the car.

“We couldn’t get off the train, we saw the air ambulance land at the side of us, so we thought it was pretty serious.”

Southeastern spokesman Emma Owen said the company was in the process of putting on a bus replacement service but could not estimate a time when the track would be re-opened.

There were no reports of any injuries.

One person, who asked not to be named, said he believed that the car may have driven off although that has not been confirmed.

British Transport Police was called to the scene just before 1.45pm.

Spokesman for British Transport Police Matthew Woodhouse said: "Shortly before 1.45pm today, officers from British Transport Police were called to the tracks close to Halling station in Kent after reports of a car being struck by a train at a level crossing.

"Officers from BTP and Kent Police are currently on scene as are the Kent Fire and Rescue Service.

"It is believed that a passing Southeastern train clipped a car on the level crossing.

"Thankfully, there are no reported injuries at this time and enquiries are being made to establish the cause of the collision.

"Anyone who was in the area at the time and saw what happened, is asked to contact BTP by sending a text to 61016 or by calling 0800 40 50 40."

Motorists should expect delays along the road leading to the crossing as emergency service vehicles are blocking the way.

A map of the Halling level crossing area
A map of the Halling level crossing area
The A228 at Halling
The A228 at Halling
The train at Halling
The train at Halling
Train passenger Jamie Smith
Train passenger Jamie Smith

The track goes down to Elmhaven Marina.

Alan Ottewill, from Snodland, was parked on the side of the road when emergency services arrived.

He said: "The road goes down to the boat yard.

"This person didn’t stop and got hit.

Network Rail engineers at the crossing in Halling
Network Rail engineers at the crossing in Halling

"The train stopped further up - it’s knackered but no one was injured.

"I was sitting in my car and everything just descended on me - the police, fire - the air ambulance has landed over the back."

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