A serious accident was narrowly avoided on Thursday morning, when a school bus was caught out at the Norman Street level crossing as a freight train approached.
According to witness Tylah-Ann Head, the freight train managed to stop just in time as the bus attempted to reverse, with a boom gate stuck between its windscreen and rear view mirror.
The incident occurred about 8.40am, she said.
"The lights all went red, we got to go across (Creswick Road), and stopped right in front of the train tracks, then the bus decided to keep going and just stopped in the middle of the train tracks," she said.
"I was thinking "go back, go back," I was yelling out the window.
"There was enough room for the bus to reverse, but he was just sitting there, the lights started going on the train line, I could see the train coming, it was sounding its horn.
"The boom gates came down, landed on top of the bus, then the bus driver tried to reverse - as he reversed, the gate fell down between his windscreen and side mirror."
Someone on the bus raised the boom gate, and the bus reversed to safety as the freight train came to a stop, she said.
"The train had to stop really fast, I'm surprised he actually stopped," Ms Head said.
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"I know trains don't usually go across there so often, but when they do, they're usually pretty fast."
The coach operator, Trotters, declined to comment, but a spokesperson noted no one was hurt.
In response to questions from The Courier, a V/Line spokesperson said in a statement "the level crossing activated as it was designed to do with an approaching train and we remind motorists to remain vigilant around level crossings".
There were no injuries and given the bus was clear of the tracks, the freight driver proceeded through the crossing at reduced speed as a precaution.
V/Line's signal maintenance technicians inspected the crossing and there was no damage so gave the all clear for services to resume through the crossing just after 9am.
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