The incident happened just after 3 a.m. on the tracks between North Academy Street and North Harrison Avenue.
Police said 40-year-old Keith Zantow, of Cary, was not at a railroad crossing when he was hit. It's unclear at this time if he was walking or sitting on the train track.
Cary police are investigating at the train tracks near N. Harrison Ave. A man was hit by a train. They say he has life threatening injuries but was alert and talking when they arrived just after 3am. Updates all morning on @ABC11_WTVD pic.twitter.com/gbsgc29xoa— Ana Rivera (@AnaRiveraABC11) May 23, 2019
When officers arrived, they said Zantow was alert and talking.
He was taken to WakeMed with life-threatening injuries.
Officials have blocked off North Harrison Avenue during their investigation.
The freight train involved in the incident is owned by Norfolk Southern. Company officials have yet to make a comment.