A 59-year-old Oamaru man admitted he has "paid the price" for taking a shortcut home along the railway tracks in July.
Yesterday in the Oamaru District Court, Grant Paul Holmes, 59, unemployed, of Oamaru was convicted, fined $500 and ordered to pay reparation costs of $1266.07 for trespassing on railway infrastructure on July 21.
Police prosecutor Ross Hutton said Holmes was taking a "so-called" shortcut that he often used between Weaver St and Foyle St at 4.45am when his vehicle became stuck in the ballast about 75 metres along the line.
"I was cold, I was tired, I wanted to get home to bed," Holmes told Judge Brian Callaghan.
Holmes got out of the vehicle and attempted to wave down the driver of an oncoming train, but it was unable to slow in time.
When the train hit, Holmes' vehicle was "shoved" down the track about 25 metres. The train sustained minor damage.
Holmes told Judge Callaghan he was unaware it was an offence to drive along the railway track.
"I've never seen a sign saying you can't drive along the railway track."
He said he had seen trucks taking the same route on previous occasions. However, he now knew he had made a "bad mistake" and was paying the price.