A man was trapped upside down on railway tracks for about half an hour this morning after his car rolled down a bank in south Auckland.
The incident happened near the Papatoetoe train station at about 9.30am.
Papatoetoe firefighter Len Opai, who was one of the first on the scene, said it was fortunate that the driver of a south-bound passenger train had spotted the upside-down car while the train was stopped at the station.
Otherwise he would have to have made an abrupt stop.
Mr Opai said it was a "challenging" rescue.
Firefighters had to set up a ladder on the three-metre bank to access the car, and they used cutting equipment to get to the driver.
They managed to free him after about half an hour by removing two doors.
He was conscious and talking to paramedics and was taken to Middlemore Hospital in a serious condition, Mr Opai said.
A KiwiRail spokeswoman said the south-bound track was closed for about 90 minutes.
The north-bound track was not affected.