Local station master K.P. Singh says a freight train at the Karanpuratu railway station in the northern state of Jharkhand rolled backward just before a Delhi-bound passenger train pulled into the station on the same track.
He says the resulting collision at 5:40 a.m. Wednesday killed four people and injured nine others.
Accidents are common on India's railroad network -- one of the world's largest, with some 14 million passengers daily. Most collisions are blamed on poor maintenance and human error.