A Givealittle page has been set up for the family of the 11-year-old struck and killed by a train in Ngaruawahia.

Moareen Rameka was playing with friends on the rail bridge on Great South Rd, not far from Old Taupiri Rd, when they heard and saw a train coming towards them.

However, Moareen wasn't able to get out of the train's way quickly enough and was hit.

One of her 11 siblings, Joanna Lines, today set up a Givealittle page for the family.


"The family is in devastation as her death was such a shock to us all. I've created this page on behalf of my family and baby sister to help them with anything in need. Anything will be a blessing towards this tragedy," she wrote.

Lines said the money would go towards the cost of the funeral and transport expenses to get her back home.

Friends and family posted tributes to the "beautiful soul" on Facebook.

"I love you so much Moareen Rameka words can't describe how lost I am to here this tonight. Never in my wildest dreams would I ever have expected him to need a beautiful soul like you so early in your life you will be with us always," one person wrote.

A cousin posted: "So sad to hear that it was you baby girl Moareen Queen... still can't believe it was you that God planned to take. Last time I got to see your beautiful face and smile was when nan and papa brought you up here to Auckland and that was a few years ago."

It was the first death on the tracks at Ngaruawahia since 2002 when 9-year-old Jayden Nerihana Tepu died when he lost his footing on the bridge and was struck by a train.

Train drivers say it's a "constant nightmare" passing through the Waikato town, one of several trouble spots nationwide.

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union general secretary, Wayne Butson, said Moareen's death was an absolute tragedy.

"We've also got a locomotive engineer and a trainee who were sitting in the cab, who will be traumatised and certainly feeling the negative effects."

He says Ngaruawahia was of concern, along with several other locations throughout the country.

"The problem is ... is that when train drivers are driving trains near these spots, they get very very stressed, they start worrying and they always live with the constant nightmare that actually they may know the person being involved in this," he says.

Butson knows of a driver who once hit his wife as she crossed a level crossing.

"Most of them drive trains because they love driving trains. What they do not love is killing people."

He said the majority of New Zealand train drivers had been involved in at least one fatality.

"I was a train driver for 20 years and unfortunately I've had numerous level crossing incidents and fatalities," he says.

"Some people say it's part of the job, I don't accept that. Anything that's preventable, we should do anything we can to stop it. We have train drivers each year who have to give up the job they love doing, simply because they end up with post-traumatic stress [disorder]."

Buston thinks the penalty framework around walking on the tracks should be revisited.

Many measures had been taken to ensure children dis not climb onto a rail bridge in Ngaruawahia, but fences were pulled down and young people ignored the warnings, said KiwiRail chief executive Peter Reidy.

Higher fences, trespass notices and even a speed restriction for trains had been put in place but they did not work, Reidy said.

"Young children are accessing the track to jump off the bridge [into the river], so this [death] has been many years in the making," he told RNZ.

"Youth will use cars to pull the fencing off and even if we restrict the speeds, they climb on the trains and jump off them."

Reidy said police, the local community, council and KiwiRail would meet to discuss further measures and more education for local people about using the bridge to dive into the river.

Another bridge was an option, but that would still be used to walk over or dive off in the same manner.

"The key, for us, is to limit the access to the railway line."

Waikato District Mayor Allan Sanson says one of the councillors lives near the scene and went down to see what he could do.

He says the sight of the grief-stricken family members was unbearable.