Distracted Dispatching: The 2016 Bad Aibling Train Collision


The location of Bad Aibling in Europe.
The site of the collision seen from above, just north of the Mangfall Channel.

The trains involved

ET325, the eastbound train, photographed in 2014.
ET355, the westbound train, photographed in 2014.

The Accident

A simple visualization of the route and either train’s direction. The red dot is the accident site.
Signals at Bad Aibling station (eastern exit). Note the small square replacement signals.
A comparison from the report, between “stop” and “stop” being overridden.
The block-signal at Bad Aibling Kurpark, the last chance to stop the train.
The forward car of either train is destroyed, most of the cars derail in the collision.


A ground-level image of the trains, the impact must have been incredibly violent.
A video recorded aboard the train by a survivor, showing the chaotic situation after the collision.
To compare, this is what first (left) and second class (right) used to look like.
An aerial photo of the rescue effort, showing the lack of space.
Flowers and candles at the site, the flowers are from the City of Bad Aibling, the Bavarian Government, the federal government, the train drivers’ union and the municipality Rosenheim.
Candles at the Maria-statue in Bad Aibling on the 13th, the large arrangement is from the BOB.
The trains in storage on flatbed cars in Munich in April 2016.
The dispatcher in court, surrounded by media.
ET358, the unit replacing ET355, photographed in 2018.

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