MONTREAL - Montreal police have confirmed that three young men who were struck and killed by a train rolling through the Turcot yards were spray painting graffiti at the time.

Two of the young men have been identified by family members as West Island residents Dylan Ford, 17, a former student at Lindsay Place High School in Pointe Claire and Mitch Bracken, 17, a fine arts student at John Abbott College in Ste. Anne de Bellevue. The third victim has been named by friends as Ricardo Conesa.

Initially two survivors of the accident, who were not on the tracks at the time, said the group was walking through the area to look at graffiti tags.

However police say the men, all aged 17 to 19, were trespassing in order to spray paint on the support pillars for the Turcot interchange.

A passenger train coming from Toronto to Montreal struck the group at 3 o'clock in the morning.

Officials say the group would not have been able to hear the train coming, and that if engineers had spotted the group on the tracks, would not have been able to stop in time.

"The message just doesn't go through, and you know what? Steel wheels, as we say, don't turn and it takes a lot of time for a train to stop," said Elizabeth Huard of Via Rail.

Police Const. Danny Richer agreed.

"You wouldn't be able to hear the train because it's a concrete structure, so when the train arrives you can't hear it," said Richer.

Two of the victims were pronounced dead at the scene, while the third died in hospital. The two survivors were treated in hospital for shock.

In a parking lot across from the tracks, police inspected two cars where a can of spray paint was visible in the trunk, and cans of beer were on the backseat.

The three fatalities have railway authorities issuing yet another warning.

"This is a tragic accident and a sad reminder that nobody should ever trespass on railway property. It is extremely dangerous, and it is against the law," said Julie Senecal of CN Rail.

Long-time graffitist Sterling Downey said the so-called "high risk, high reward" lifestyle remain attractive for some.

"High-trafficked areas are places where you're going to do graffiti because everyone's going to see it. So there are risks involved with the culture," he said.

A tribute video to Ford, also known as Montreal graffiti writer "Jays" was modified on Sunday afternoon, and now features comments with condolences.

With files from The Canadian Press and