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Student in rail crossing drama

PUBLISHED: 10:08 18 January 2008 | UPDATED: 19:26 05 July 2010

STUCK ON THE TRACK: reader Phil Chapman captured the scene at Oulton Broad north station.

STUCK ON THE TRACK: reader Phil Chapman captured the scene at Oulton Broad north station.

RAIL passengers heading to Lowestoft this week were held up for more than an hour after a motorist mistakenly drove on to the track at Oulton Broad.

A foreign student was using a sat-nav system as he delivered takeaway meals in the area.

RAIL passengers heading to Lowestoft this week were held up for more than an hour after a motorist mistakenly drove on to the track at Oulton Broad.

A foreign student was using a sat-nav system as he delivered takeaway meals in the area. He was trying to get to Commodore Road, which was an immediate right turn after the level crossing at Oulton Broad North station, but ended up stranded on the railway track.

Bemused passers-by and other motorists watched in astonishment as the driver and his passenger tried to push the Daewoo Matiz out of the way. But their efforts failed and police were called as the signalman told the driver of the Norwich-bound train to stop.

Train services were halted for more than an hour from about 8.40pm on Tuesday before a recovery vehicle towed the car away. Police later con-firmed the driver could be prosecuted.

Sgt Andrew Cook, of British Transport Police, said the man was in his mid-20s.

“As he approached the crossing, the sat-nav told him to turn right but he turned 10 yards too early,” he added. “At the same time the signalman was about to press the button on the barriers for an approaching train. He had to get the train to stop to prevent an accident.

“The driver is a foreign student at Lowestoft College who has only just recently arrived in this country. His actions did cause substantial delays to the trains that evening.”

He said officers were considering bringing charges of obstructing a train without intent and careless driving.

Kate Snowden, of Network Rail, said: “Thankfully, this is a quiet route so we were able to stop oncoming trains in time. If it had been the main line he may not have been so lucky.”

Do you know who the driver was?

If so, please contact The Journal on 01502 525831 or email the editor at russell.cook@archant.co.uk

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