The boy was crossing the tracks near Route 59 at 6 p.m. Friday when he was struck by the train. Trevor James, who works nearby, used his belt to slow the boy's bleeding while others called for help.
"I feel like when you're presented that situation there is a voice in your head, I think it's God and you just need to follow what he says and we did. Every single person there was following and every person was there to help that kid, save his life," James said.
James, who is a father, said he was part of an "awesome team" that rushed to help the boy.
The boy, who has not been identified, goes to Hough Street School. A Barrington Unit District 200 official posted on the school's Facebook page that the fifth-grader is no longer in critical condition.
In a statement, Superintendent of Barrington Unit District 220 Tom Leonard called the incident "a heartbreaking accident."