One crewman was killed and three others were injured before dawn Thursday when two Union Pacific railroad coal trains collided head-on 110 miles northeast of here.
Six locomotives and 18 coal cars derailed, closing the railroad's main line between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles, said John Bromley, a Union Pacific spokesman in Omaha.
The accident occurred in a deep canyon 23 miles east of Caliente, near the Nevada-Utah border. One of the trains was supposed to pull onto a siding but did not, Bromley said.
He said it was unknown which train was to have stopped at the siding. An investigation into the crash is under way, Bromley said.
Michael A. Smith, 55, of Las Vegas, an engineer on the westbound train, was killed in the crash, Bromley said.
The westbound train was loaded with coal on a run from Provo, Utah, to Los Angeles, Bromley said. The eastbound train was empty. It had originated at the Moapa Power Plant, 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas.