A woman has died after being hit by a train in Tinwald, Ashburton, this morning.

Police have confirmed the woman - aged in her 40s - died at the scene and her death had been referred to the coroner.

Police were still at the scene conducting investigations, and a KiwiRail spokesperson said the railway line would remain closed until track clearance was given.

Emergency services were called to the scene shortly at around 9.15am and people nearby reported hearing the train give three long blasts on its horn prior to the incident.


The KiwiRail spokesperson said the train driver would be relieved of their duties and offered counselling.

"Our thoughts are with the family of the person involved, any witnesses, our staff and emergency services because these events always have a significant effect on many people," the KiwiRail spokesperson said.

Reports on social media suggested three long, loud toots were heard coming from the train prior to the accident.

At nearby Sims Bakery staff heard the toots.

"Two of my girls here said the train was sitting on the horn," owner Manny Sim said.

A hearse was at the scene shortly after 11.30am and the victim taken away, while police investigators mapped out the scene.

The train - a southbound freight train - came to a stop just north of the Maronan Road level crossing, while the body appeared to have been a few hundred metres back, opposite the intersection of Archibald Street and Jane Street.