The Akbar Express, heading to the western city of Quetta from Lahore, crashed into the freight train in the Sadiqabad area of Punjab province's southern Rahim Yar Khan district, destroying five carriages and trapping passengers.
Some sections of the Indian Railways could be opened up for investment from the private sector, which could operate its own railway lines in return for licence fees, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said.
The freight train was stationary when the speeding passenger train hit it at Walhar Railway Station in Rahim Yar Khan, in the eastern Punjab province.
A railway reconnecting Cambodia and Thailand was officially inaugurated on Monday in a bid to slash travel times and boost trade between the southeast Asian neighbours.
As part of the ongoing 'Joy of Giving Week' organised by the Western Railway (WR), around 150 students of the Ryan Group of Institutions (RGI) planted more than 350 Ashoka tree saplings near the Jogeshwari station here, an official said on Saturday.
Built in 1902 under French colonial rulers, the railway to Vietnam's Northern provinces carries passengers and cargo mostly between Hanoi and the eastern city of Haiphong.
In a sign of growing anxiety, Indian Railways, one of the world's biggest networks, cancelled all services except suburban and goods trains until March 31. The move will affect more than 20 million passengers a day and comes after several people tested positive for the virus after trips.
The inspectorate said the passenger train smashed into the standing freight train. The regional rescue service said up to 35 passengers were injured. Some were transported to hospitals for treatment by helicopters.