I really can't comprehend how this happens, unless it's deliberately ''suicide by train....'' (shudder)
I understand the morons that go around crossing gates thinking they can beat the oncoming train, they're impatient idiots that deserve what happens. But - pedestrians?
First of all, I admit I used to walk along mainline tracks when I was a youngster. There was a great fishing spot in a canal near my parents house in Miami that was only accessible if you walked the Seaboard mainline for a ways to get to it. So my friends and I took that route a lot. Both freight trains and passenger trains used it, you definitely had to, ''stop, look, and listen.'' We took many trips down those tracks, none of us ever came close to being hit.
If you must use railroad tracks as a walkway, how on earth is someone not aware of an approaching train? The headlight can be seen a long way off, you can hear the horn a ways off as well, and that growling rumbling sound as it gets nearer.
The only thing I can think of is the fad nowadays of always having to be entertained, and people wearing earbuds, going blissfully on their way not being able to hear anything except the sound made by the earbuds.