A MAN was killed when his motor scooter collided with a train at a level crossing this afternoon.

British Transport Police were called to Church Lane in Ufton Nervet, West Berkshire, at 1.10pm.

Officers are investigating reports that the motor scooter tried to 'beat' an express train as it approached the crossing. It is understood that investigators at the scene have found the crossing barriers were working normally.

First Great Western said one of its trains was involved and it has closed the line, causing severe delays to services between Reading, Newbury and the West Country.

The train involved was the 12:18 from Paddington to Taunton and it is understood none of the passengers or crew was injured. Passengers were aware that the brakes were being applied abruptly and that the driver was making an emergency stop.

Firefighters were initially called but were not required and it is thought the scooter rider died instantly.

Police have sealed off roads approaching the level crossing and traffic entering Church Lane from the A4 is being turned back.

A Network Rail statement read: "Emergency services attended the scene and the Rail Accident Investigation Branch was notified. British Transport Police is not treating the death as suspicious.

"Early investigations appear to show that the level crossing equipment was in working order.

"Train services were diverted via Melksham and Swindon. It is hoped to have the line re-opened by 3.30pm.

The lines have now reopened but there are likely to be delays until at least 7.30pm.

*In 2004, seven people were killed at the crossing when a train collided with a car.