A woman has died while frantically trying to get her car off a rail line after it was involved in a shunt at a level crossing.It is believed her grey Rover 216 Si clipped a Ford transit van travelling in the opposite direction near Spalding, Lincolnshire.
The van driver managed to get his vehicle off the tracks before the safety barriers lowered, but the Rover became trapped at the South Drove crossing.
Officers said the woman desperately tried to reverse her car as an oncoming train approached but was unable to move it out of the way in time.
Sergeant Dave Kay said: "She was making frantic attempts to get off the level-crossing but witnesses said it was very, very quick from when the barriers came down to the collision.
"She was trying to get her car off the level-crossing but because of the arctic conditions it was like a skating rink and she couldn't get very far."
The 30-year-old woman, from Spalding, has not been named.
The two men in the van raced towards the Rover but could not reach the woman to save her.
No one else was injured but the train driver was left badly shaken.
The train, the 8.33am service from Peterborough to Lincoln, was carrying 18 passengers, a driver and a conductor.
East Midlands Trains, which operates the service, said it was slightly damaged but not derailed.
Train services in the area have been disrupted and services are terminating at Sleaford in Lincolnshire while investigations continue.
Routes affected include Peterborough, Spalding, Sleaford, Ruskington, Metheringham and Lincoln.