A 52-year-old woman was hit and killed by a train in Waikato this afternoon.

The northbound train hit the woman on the tracks near Overdale St in the town of Putaruru, 65km southeast of Hamilton, about 2.55pm.

Constable Christopher Hickford of Putaruru police said the woman appeared to be crossing the tracks at the time.

"The engineer sounded the horn several times and began braking but could not stop in time,'' he said.

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Police had spoken to several witnesses but asked anyone else who saw the incident to get in touch.