The accident happened around 8:30 a.m. Monday along the 1000 block of Elkton Road. The woman, identified as Ines Fazlic of Canal Street in Delaware City, died at the scene.
Investigators said this appears to have been an accident, with no foul play or suicidal intent believed to be involved. Police say she was walking next to the tracks behind the Eagle Diner, where she worked. Police say Fazlic had left the diner and was using the train tracks as a shortcut.
Fazlic normally worked the night shift at the diner, but came in Monday morning for breakfast.
"Her mother had just dropped her off because she was going to her friend's house," said co-worker Sherry Quesenberry. "That's why she was back that way. She walks that way to her friend's house."
The young woman was last seen talking on her cell phone behind the restaurant before walking off toward the train tracks.
It is estimated the train was travelling at 40 mph before rounding a curve. The train may have come upon Fazlic before she had a chance to react. Police say they are working to determine if Fazlic's attention was distracted, causing her not to notice the approaching train.
Back at the diner, the victim's co-workers carried on with their duties as they struggled with her death. She was described as a bright young woman with everything to live for.
"We were sitting in here laughing. We had breakfast and everything," said Quesenberry, who added the woman did not seem depressed. "She was very happy."
Police held the train at the accident scene for more than two hours, blocking two main intersections in Newark. It has since been allowed to leave.