Catastrophic Can-Opener: The 2018 Niklasdorf (Austria) Train Collision


The location of Niklasdorf in Europe.
The site of the collision seen from above, just east of Niklasdorf station. The S-Bahn came from the left and the Eurocity came from the right side of the frame.

The trains involved

EC216, the train involved in the accident, photographed near the site in October 2016.
DB Series 101 011–5, the locomotive pushing EC216 on the day of the accident, photographed near Niklasdorf in 2019.
An identical ÖBB 4744 approaching Niklasdorf in June 2017.

The accident

A photo from the report taken from S8’s approximate position at the platform, the green box marks the departure-signal.
The ripped up first class car sitting in the wreckage later in the day, the window-section is missing nearly all the way from door to door.


A translated photo from the report, showing S8’s damaged leading car sitting between the tracks.
The destroyed 8th car sitting in the wreckage, one can see that the entire interior of the bathroom shifted as the vestibule and roof crumpled.
The initial point of impact (left) and more severe damage on car 6 (right). Note that both car 5’s rear and car 6’s leading wheel set didn’t derail.
An overview of the reckage during recovery, S8 originated to the left of the platform in the background.
Firefighters making their way into the destroyed passenger car.
The damaged shell of 4744 054’s leading car heading to the scrapyard in September 2020.

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