A witness to a fatal crash between a car and an XPT train in northern NSW says he "heard the bang" and looked outside to see the carriages leaning across the tracks.
A 60-year-old woman was killed when her Holden Commodore was struck by an express passenger train at a rural level crossing in Kyogle, northwest of Lismore, after 8am on Wednesday.
Emergency services were called out in the wet weather conditions but the female driver died at the scene.
The woman's dog was injured and had to be euthanised by a vet.
The 33 passengers and five crew members on board the train - including the driver - weren't physically injured.
A NSW Ambulance spokesman said one patient was taken to the local hospital reportedly in shock.
Bob McFadden, who works at the nearby Kyogle Country Inn, knew something was wrong because of the "weird noise" coming from the train.
"We heard the bang then the train basically derailed," he told AAP on Wednesday.
"You can see it from the property here, all the carriages are on an angle.
"Then the next minute we heard the ambulances and we were told the woman had passed away."
Mr McFadden said it had been raining heavily in the area for days.
Photos on social media show heavy mist and fog around the wreckage.
The daily 5.55am XPT train service travelling from Brisbane to Sydney has been replaced with buses.
A NSW TrainLink spokesman said the XPT "didn't leave the tracks due to the collision" however customers were transferred to a coach to complete their journey to Sydney.
The NSW rail service was offering support and counselling to the train driver and the crew, he said.
Local police have asked for any witnesses to come forward.