Swiss police said the body of one of the drivers was recovered from the wreckage 200 yards from Granges-près-Marnaud station, 30 miles southwest of the capital Bern, early Tuesday morning. Five others were seriously injured, with 26 altogether needing hospital treatment.
While the two trains collided head-on, they were traveling regional routes and thus at somewhat slower speeds and only carrying 46 people between them.
"These are regional trains," said Vaud Police spokesman Jean-Christophe Sauterel. "The speeds are a little lower and even if one deeply regrets the likely loss of life of one person as well as five serious injuries, the situation could have been much more catastrophic."
Workers had to separate the locomotives of the two trains, which locked together and lifted slightly off the track on impact, to retrieve the body of the deceased driver. Police said an autopsy was necessary to formally establish his identity.
An investigation was ordered to determine the cause of the crash.
One train was bound for Lausanne, about 22 miles south of where the crash occurred. The other had Lausanne, traveling north.