A person was thrown from a car smashed by a train in North Canterbury last night, at the same level crossing that multi-sport legend Steve Gurney was hit by a train five years ago.

A southbound TranzRail goods train travelling through Rangiora at 9.41pm yesterday hit an SUV at the Marsh Rd level crossing.

The SUV, with three occupants, had been travelling in a westerly direction prior to the crash, police say.

It was spun around and ended up several metres from the level crossing, a police statement said. All three occupants were taken to Christchurch Hospital.

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"Initial indications appear that one of the occupants was ejected from the car as a result of the impact," the statement added.

"This person is currently in Intensive Care."

Police inquiries into the cause of this crash are ongoing.

However, police do not believe that alcohol was a factor.

It's the same level crossing where nine-time Coast to Coast winner Gurney miraculously walked away with only minor injuries when his top-of-the-range Subaru Outback 4WD smashed into an early-morning passenger train at a railway crossing near Rangiora on September 20, 2011.

He was charged by police with careless use of a motor vehicle and was granted diversion.

There are no warning bells, lights or barriers at the crossing.

But there is a stop sign and warning saying, "Look for trains."