A MAN was taken to hospital by air ambulance after being hit by a train.

Emergency services were seen in the Lancaster Road area of Hartlepool shortly after 7pm on Saturday.

The man, who is believed to be in his 40s, suffered head injuries and was flown to James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough.

Northern Rail said that all lines between Newcastle and Middlesbrough were blocked as a result, before they reopened shortly after 9.30pm.

A spokesperson for the North East Ambulance Service said: "We were called at 7.10pm to reports of an incident involving a collision on the railway line.

"We sent a rapid response vehicle, an officer, an ambulance, two of our hazardous area response teams and we requested support from the Great North Air Ambulance.

"We took one male patient believed to be in his 40s to James Cook Hospital by air with head injuries."