A VIA train travelling from Toronto to Windsor fatally struck a pedestrian near the Burlington GO station shortly after 6 :30p.m. Wednesday evening.

Police say the victim was male, in his early 20s and from the Hamilton area, adding that he was seen approaching from the south side of the tracks.

Train 75 departed Toronto at 5:30 p.m. and was headed for Windsor, but stopped on the tracks at the 30.5 mile mark near the Burlington GO station after the fatal collision with a pedestrian, according to Mylène Bélanger, a spokesperson for VIA Rail. She said there were 185 passengers on board the train at the time.

The Halton Regional Police collision reconstruction team was called to the scene to investigate.

Bélanger stressed the importance of pedestrian rail safety. "Obviously this incident is a tragedy. All our thoughts go to the family," she said, adding better safety awareness could prevent the approximately 300 collisions with trains at highway crossings in Canada every year.

"It's important to remember that the train cannot stop instantly; it can take up to two kilometres to come to a complete stop. These tracks are dangerous."

The 7:05 p.m. VIA train departing from Toronto for Windsor was cancelled and passengers were being transported via coach buses, Bélanger said.

GO passengers travelling on the Lakeshore West line were shuttled by bus between Hamilton GO station and Appleby station in both directions.