A 31-year-old woman has died in a rail collision on the train tracks running along the north end of Mile End on Thursday afternoon, Montreal police say.

A 911 call came in at 12:30 p.m., said police spokeswoman Caroline Chevrefils. 

The woman was found, very seriously injured, near the tracks that are just north of the intersection of Van Horne Ave. and St. Laurent Blvd., Chevrefils said.

Police only confirmed the woman's death at 5:50 p.m. and later confirmed she had been hit by a train, saying she was at an unofficial crossing where the public is not permitted to be on the tracks.

There are no official crossings in that area, but people frequently do cross that stretch of tracks as a shortcut, with holes often cut into the chain-link fence.

The tracks, which separate Mile End from Petite-Patrie, are a popular spot for pedestrians as they run alongside a greenspace and pathway, on the north side of the tracks, busy year-round with runners, skiers and cyclists.

Officers investigating the scene later told media the woman may have crossed a little further east than first believed, since the collision happened closer to St. Denis St., about 500 metres from St. Laurent.

There's a hole in the fence there that is especially well-used by people trying to get from the Plateau and Mile End to Rosemont metro, which is just above the tracks.

Police are still trying to determine whether it was an accidental collision and, if so, what led to it, Chevrefils said.

The railway is the property of CP Rail, so police are working with the railway to review camera footage and try to learn more.


An earlier version of this story said the tracks are the property of CN Rail. In fact, they're the property of CP Rail. CTV regrets the error.