Merced police reported a pedestrian versus train death around 7 a.m. Thursday near North Highway 59 and 16th Street.
The victim has been identified as Travis Ray Moore, 39, of Atwater, according to the Merced County Coroner's Office.
Witnesses said Moore was seated on the southbound Union Pacific tracks with his head between his legs before being struck by the train, said Lt. Bimley West.
The conductor had sounded his horn several times, trying to get the man's attention, but to no avail, West said.
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After hitting the man, the train stopped west of 16th and R streets, West said.
Sgt. Jay Struble said police will be reviewing video footage of the ordeal during their investigation, which is continuing.
Police are asking anyone with any information to call Struble at (209) 385-4739 or the department's automated tip line at (209) 385-4702. Callers can remain anonymous.
Reporter Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or firstname.lastname@example.org.