The 11-year-old girl who died after being struck by a train in the Waikato town of Ngaruawahia yesterday was playing with other children.
The accident happened on a railway bridge in the town.
Senior Sergeant Dave Hall, Western Waikato police area prevention manager told Fairfax the girl was with other children on the tracks.
"They heard the train coming from the south and decided to get off the bridge," he says.
"They were seen running north, trying to get off the tracks and the young girl hasn't made it in time and was struck by the train."
Mr Hall said other children saw the accident.
"It will be devastating for the immediate family, extended family and community, to see a child lose their life in circumstances such as this."
The girl's death has been referred to the coroner.