A man has died after being hit by a northbound train near Dapto Station, forcing the closure of a section of the rail line.
The seven-carriage train came to a halt 100m south of the level crossing on Darkes Road following the collision.
Train services were suspended between Wollongong and Dapto.
After a 40-minute wait, passengers were able to disembark the train to board the replacement Premier Illawarra bus services.
One woman came to the site to collect her daughter and her friend, both aged 18.
The teens had boarded the train at Dapto and were heading to Wollongong when the train came to a stop, she told the Mercury.
Moments after leaving the station, the teen’s friend looked out the window and witnessed the horror.
“She’s beside herself. They’re freaking out. I just want to get her out of here,” the woman said.
Multiple passengers have told the Mercury they witnessed the collision and were shaken by experience.
A man who was travelling from Kiama to Wollongong said he had decided to turn around and abandon his journey.
“I was sitting in the front and I had a feeling they had hit someone,” he said.
“I don't understand what someone was doing on the tracks.
"I think I’ll go straight to bed.”
The man said a female announcer, who he believed to be the driver, was noticeably upset.
“She was saying 'please keep calm, and sorry to say this but we've hit a person'.
“You could tell the way she was talking on the mic … she was trying to keep it together, she was really upset.”
Wollongong brothers Nicholas and Benjamin Bilboe, 18 and 19, witnessed the collision. They said they were relieved when the train’s doors opened.
“Everyone was shocked, scared, a bit worried, a bit stressed, because there was no [fresh] air,” Benjamin said.
“Look at everyone now. Everyone's shocked - the driver especially.”
Buses and a shuttle train were brought in between Kiama and Dapto.
Police and emergency services remained at the site for several hours.
Train services returned to normal about 8pm.
Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the man’s death.
A report will be prepared for the coroner.