Police say a man was lucky to escape serious injury or death after his car collided with a passenger train in Ballarat on Thursday night.
The 35-year-old South Yarra man's car was travelling north along Gillies Street, Wendouree, when his car and a Vline passenger train collided just before 11.30pm.
Police say it veered onto the wrong side of the road to avoid the lowered boom gates at the level crossing between Howitt and Gregory streets.
There were no passengers on board as the train was heading east to Ballarat from Wendouree to stable.
It was the last service of the night.
The car struck the train's front axle, about three metres from the front of the engine.
The driver of the car was taken to the Ballarat Base Hospital for further observation after he sustained minor injuries.
Five police units, two fire crews, V/line staff and an ambulance attended the scene.
Sergeant Brett Robinson said the outcome would have been much worse had the car collided with the front of the train.
He said there was extensive damage to the car and minor damage to the train.
The train driver was not injured.
Police are investigating whether alcohol was a factor.
The level crossing was blocked for over an hour as emergency crews worked to clear the tracks.
There was no disruption to train services.