QUICK-thinking medics used a train to transport a man for urgent treatment after he plunged 30ft from a railway bridge onto the tracks below.
The incident happened at around 2.30pm yesterday on the section of track under Middleton Bridge.
With a 20ft wall on one side of the track - which runs adjacent to Lancaster Road - and a steep embankment and trees on the other, emergency services struggled to get the man from the lines.
Shocked commuters looked on as the man was treated on the track before being stretchered onto a Northern Rail service and ferried back to Hartlepool train station where an ambulance was waiting to take him to the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton.
Police confirmed the incident was not being treated as suspicious, while the man’s injuries were described as being consistent with “falling from a height”.
A British Transport Police spokesman said: “BTP officers were called to the line near the Middleton Road bridge, Hartlepool, following a report of a man on the tracks.
“The incident was reported to BTP at 2.29pm and was also attended by Cleveland Police and Cleveland Fire Brigade.
“The man, who had injuries consistent with falling from a height, was treated at the scene by medics from the North East Ambulance Service before being conveyed to a local hospital, where he remains.”
The spokesman said the incident is being treated as non-suspicious.
Trains coming through Hartlepool, including the high-speed Grand Central service to London, were delayed while officers attended the incident.
The line was eventually reopened after around half an hour, with passengers delayed by up to 40 minutes.
A Network Rail spokesman said: “The incident was reported to us by Cleveland Police at just after 2.20pm.
“The trains were stopped in the area and the person involved was put on board a train for the short journey to Hartlepool train station.
“It was difficult for medics to access the area where the incident happened so he was taken to the station so he could get treatment.”
Cleveland Fire Brigade was also alerted of the incident yesterday and firefighters from Stranton Station attended to assist police and paramedics.