Investigators say the young man and woman who were killed appeared to have been sitting on the tracks and never moved as the train approached, even as it honked at them from a distance.
The accident happened shortly after 1:30 p.m. near Cutting Boulevard. The train had just left Oakland and was headed to Bakersfield. None of the 39 passengers or crew members on board were injured
Investigators say the victims are a man and a woman who appeared to be in their early 20s. It is unclear at this point whether suicide was a motive, but there is a clear pathway near the train tracks and neighbors in the area say pedestrians use that walkway everyday to cross the tracks.
"They all do it; adults, kids, everybody," nearby business owner Arthur Moncrieffe said.
Amtrak officials say the stretch of tracks was recently the subject of a public awareness campaign aimed at keeping people off the tracks.
An Amtrak spokesperson said, "We don't own the tracks. We just operate the trains through the area. The tracks are owned and operated by Union Pacific."
ABC7 has not heard from Union Pacific.
The accident shut down the tracks in both directions for a time. One track is now open and trains are running on reduced speeds.