Emergency workers were visibly distressed as they battled to save a man struck by a train in Marsden.
The man was hit by the Trans Pennine Express train travelling from Scarborough to Manchester Airport just after 8.30am yesterday.
The man was stabilised by paramedics at Marsden and then flown by the Yorkshire Air Ambulance to Leeds General Infirmary where he is in a critical condition.
Passengers were stuck on the train while the man was freed from beneath the train and an investigation began into what had happened. Other services on the line were stopped.
One of the passengers was Huddersfield solicitor Nigel Priestley.
He said: “It was the strangest experience. The train was the 8.16am from Huddersfield and was not due to stop at Marsden but it slowed and then stopped as it went into the station rather than coming to a shuddering halt.”
Passengers quickly realised that something was wrong and their worst fears that someone had been hit were confirmed when they saw the conductor who had checked under the train and was visibly distressed.
Police were quickly on the scene along with several rapid response ambulance paramedic vehicles.
Mr Priestley added: “I saw one policewoman who was having to take in deep breaths to calm herself she was so shocked by what she had seen and several passengers were clearly upset.”
Trains were stopped in the Huddersfield-bound direction while the emergency services worked beneath the train.
Mr Priestley said: “By the time the train had stopped the man was beneath the second or third carriage and had suffered severe injuries. There was an atmosphere among the rescuers of calm determination.At one point we could hear the Yorkshire Air Ambulance coming in to land but we couldn’t see it.”
The passengers were moved on to another train at about 9.45am. Another train was brought in to transfer these passengers so they could carry on with their journey. The station was fully reopened at 10.15am.
A British Transport Police spokeswoman said: “BTP officers were called to Marsden station following a report that a man had been struck by a train. Officers from West Yorkshire Police also attended the incident, which was reported to BTP at 8.33am and is currently being treated as non-suspicious.”