Man killed after being hit by train
A MAN was killed after being hit by a passenger train at a rural station.
He was struck by the train which was on route from Manchester to Bristol at Wedgwood level crossing, near Barlaston, shortly before 2pm yesterday.
The tragedy disrupted cross country services for more than an hour, while a team from Network Rail retrieved the body and accident investigators studied the scene.
Other trains were diverted via Crewe with taxis were laid on to ferry passengers heading for Stoke to and from Stafford station.
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Police sealed off the quiet stretch of Wedgwood Drive between Barlaston Old Road and the level crossing before emergency services left the scene.
Police later confirmed the death was not suspicious.
The man's identity has not yet been revealed.
The death is the second fatality at Wedgwood level crossing this year.
Another man was killed after being hit by a train at the same location on January 31. Police said that death was not suspicious.
Resident Steve Hall, who lives nearby in Lakewood Drive, Barlaston, said: "I heard the sirens but I wasn't aware of what had happened.
"It is not the first time someone has been killed at that level crossing. It is very sad.
"The problem for the locals is the gates seem to go down for quite a long time.
"My view is that if you get caught walking on the line, you are there deliberately."
Elaine Philpott, of Canalside, Barlaston, added: "All I know is someone went on the line.
"It's such a shame for all the people involved, the family and the train driver and all the people who have to clean up afterwards."
The body was removed from the crossing just after 3pm.
A British Transport Police spokesman said: "Shortly before 2pm yesterday, British Transport Police received reports that a person had been struck by a train at Wedgwood.
"Officers attended, alongside colleagues from Staffordshire Police and discovered a man had been struck and killed by a train.
"The incident is not being treated as suspicious and officers are now working to determine the identity of the man.
"Once this has been achieved a file will be compiled for the coroner."
A spokesman for Network Rail said: "We were informed of the incident at 1.54pm.
"A cross country service going from Manchester to Bristol struck someone in the area of Wedgwood level crossing.
"The service was brought to a standstill and it caused a considerable amount of disruption.
"The north bound line reopened at 3.10pm and the south bound line reopened at about 3.40pm.
"That affected quite a number of services, including Virgin services between Manchester and London, cross country services through Birmingham and London and the Crewe to London Euston service, passing through Stoke-on-Trent."
One ambulance and a paramedic area support officer were sent out to the railway crossing.
A West Midlands Ambulance AService spokesman spokesman said: "Sadly, it quickly became apparent to crews that nothing could be done to save the man and he was confirmed dead at the scene."