A driver is "lucky to be alive" after his car clipped a train in the Central Hawke's Bay town of Takapau.
Emergency services were called to the railway track at the Sydney St intersection at 11.15am.
A spokeswoman said no injuries were reported.
Neighbouring resident Barry Cox was in his yard and saw the car heading towards Takapau.
"He stopped at the crossing, but too close. The train horn blasted and the driver managed to back up a little, but not enough"
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He heard a bang and the front bumper of the vehicle "flew into a ditch". He says the driver picked up the bumper, before driving off.
The train managed to stop about 500 metres down the track.
Cox says driver was very lucky.
"I'm pleased he was ok...if he hadn't backed away he would have been killed."
Near misses between trains and vehicles at the intersection was not an uncommon occurance, the witness said.