By Agence France-Presse
Rescue workers rushed to the scene of the accident, which occurred in the early hours of the morning, when most passengers were asleep.
"The death toll has increased and stands at 60 now," said Zaqi Ahmed, inspector general of police for Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh state, revising an earlier, lower toll.
"Over 150 others are injured."
The Press Trust of India news agency said all local hospitals had been placed on alert and around 30 ambulances had been deployed to transport the injured. Hundreds of police were also at the scene, it reported, and Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had ordered an investigation into the disaster.
India's railway network, one of the world's largest, is still the main form of long-distance travel in the vast country, but it is poorly funded and deadly accidents occur relatively frequently.
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he was "anguished beyond words" by the loss of life.
Modi's government has pledged to invest $137 billion over five years to modernise its crumbling railways, making them safer, faster and more efficient.