A MAN has died in the crash between a car and a freight train near Kidlington, British Transport Police have just said.

The crash happened at 3.39pm today at the Sandy Lane level crossing.

A British Transport Police (BTP) spokesman said: "It is believed two people were in the vehicle at the time. Sadly one of them, a man, was pronounced dead at the scene.

"The train involved was a Trafford Park to Southampton freight service, and the driver is reported to be shaken but uninjured. The driver pulled the emergency brake but was unable to stop in time.

"Officers are working to establish the full circumstances including how the car came to be on the tracks at the time.

"The Rail Accident Investigation Branch has been informed."

An ambulance service spokesman said one other person had been taken to Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital with minor injuries. Two other people were checked over by the paramedics but they were not passengers in the car, a Renault Kangoo, she added.

Bus services are replacing trains between Oxford and Banbury.

Sandy Lane is closed both ways between the intersection with Yarnton Lane and Yarnton Road, as well as its junction with Woodstock Road. 

The green and yellow Freightliner locomotive hauling the train came to a stop about 200m from the level crossing where the crash took place, followed by its container-carrying wagons which stretch back to the accident.

There are fields on both sides and emergency services personnel and vehicles are still at the scene with their lights flashing.

The train appears completely undamaged and the level crossing to the south has its lights and sirens continually flashing and is closed to cars.

The Renault was struck by the freight train on its passenger side and dragged around 20 yards to the south towards Oxford.

A staff member at Yarnton Nurseries said: "I have just heard a lot of sirens. They have been going for the past few minutes."

Kaye Brown, who works at Yarnton Leisure Buildings, added: "We have heard a lot of sirens. It has been non-stop."

Thames Valley Police have sent officers to assist British Transport Police.

Buses are replacing trains between Oxford and Banbury and the line is expected to remain closed for the rest of the day while investigations continue.

In terms of commuters making alternative arrangements, First Great Western passengers may use Chiltern Railways services between London Marylebone and Banbury, CrossCountry services on reasonable routes and London Underground services on reasonable routes.

CrossCountry passengers may use Chiltern Railways services between London Marylebone and Birmingham Snow Hill, London Midland services Coventry / Worcester and Birmingham New Street, First Great Western services on reasonable routes, South West Trains services between London Waterloo and Bournemouth, Virgin Trains services between Birmingham New Street and London Euston and London Underground services on reasonable routes.