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A local business owner who captured footage of a freight train barrelling towards unsuspecting drivers at a malfunctioning Adelaide railway crossing says it was lucky no-one was hit and killed, while the train driver has been praised for his quick thinking.
The incident at the Torrens Road crossing near Ovingham railway station was caught on CCTV by a local business owner.
The video shows the driver of the Perth-bound freight train desperately sounding the horn as the train approaches the crossing about midday on Monday.
While the footage cuts before the train completely gets through the crossing, it shows a car entering the crossing moments before the train moves across.
"I was sitting in the back of my shop when I heard that horn, when the train was trying to clear the path," said local business owner Rooslan Gareyev.
"There were a lot of cars crossing this intersection and after that I just saw that the train was trying to stop."
Department for Infrastructure and Transport chief executive Tony Braxton-Smith said cabling maintenance work had been taking place near the level crossing prior to the failure and an urgent investigation was underway.
"At this stage the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator has immediately commenced an investigation," he said.
"We've got separate reviews underway … we've stopped all the work pending the outcome."
The northern freight line is used by trains taking goods to Perth.(File: ABC News)The freight train took 500 metres to stop and also went through the smaller Hawker Street and Belford Avenue crossings.
Passenger services to Gawler are currently suspended for electrification work.
The Torrens Road level crossing is being replaced with a road overpass, with work due to start next year.
Driver praised for quick thinkingMr Braxton-Smith said that cases of boom gate faults usually involved the gates staying stuck down, rather than up.
He said yesterday's malfunction was known as a "wrong-side failure".
The Torrens Road railway crossing near Ovingham railway station.(Google Maps)He praised and thanked the train driver for his quick action in recognising the problem and urgently sounding the horn.
"The driver has to be one of the people that we credit for having the outcome that we did because it was his prompt action and the alertness of the drivers at the crossing that stopped something much worse happening," he said.
Mr Gareyev, who owns local mobile phone and computer repair shop Fixland, said it was a "frightening" incident, and that it was lucky no-one was injured or killed.
"Fortunately there were no accidents and no casualties," he said.
The National Rail Safety Regulator confirmed it was investigating the incident.
The Australian Rail Track Corporation said it would support the transport department's investigation.
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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