The Bellingham Herald reports that witnesses say the victim appeared to be a teenager or young man. They say he was close to one end of a rail bridge over the Nooksack River when the train approached at about 5 p.m. Monday and blasted its horn.
They say the young man was running toward the closest place to exit the bridge when he was hit. The impact reportedly threw him under the bridge onto the river bank.
The train was stopped for several hours for the investigation.
BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas says 20 people were killed on BNSF tracks in Washington in 2013. So far this year, there have been fewer than 10 fatalities.
He says the train was traveling from British Columbia to the Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming.