John Hollar died Sunday night, two days after he was attacked in front of about a dozen witnesses, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported. At least two passengers tried to intervene in some fashion, while others made emergency phone calls, the Edmonton Journal reported.
"From the beginning of the fight to the end, it seemed very one-sided," city police homicide Detective Colin Derksen said Monday. "It appears that Mr. Hollar was just trying to avoid the situation and get away."
The two men apparently knew each other, but it wasn't clear what led to the beating.
The Journal said the mid-afternoon assault went on for a time despite the train's driver announcing over the train's public address system police were en route.
When officers arrived, Hollar was unconscious. The alleged assailant, Jeremy Newborn, 29, tried to flee but was arrested nearby, the newspaper said. He was held on an aggravated-assault charge police said would be upgraded to second-degree murder at his next court appearance, Jan. 14.