Downhill Disaster: The 2006 Dürrenast Runaway Train Collision


The location of Dürrenast in Europe.
The approximate site of the main wreckage. Note the two silver-roofed buildings to the north, they will show up again.

The train involved

BLS 235 099–9, the tractor involved in the accident, photographed in 2002.


The location of the construction site relative to Dürrenast.
A protection car (left) and ballast car (right) identical to those in the train involved. These were placed right behind the locomotive.
An AVES-unit and small crane car, identical to those in the train involved. Located behind two ballast cars these were at the back of the train.
The distance from Frutingen to the siding at the concrete plant.

The accident

A rolling road with a tanker truck, this is what the dispatchers feared the train could hit.
The location of the first impact (orange) and the final location of the wreckage (red).
A wheel cock in use, keeping a parked car from rolling away.
The wreckage as seen the next morning, the orange square used to be the cabin of the locomotive.


A photo from the report, indicating what part of the wreckage belonged to which train.
An aerial view of the scene, the impact barely moved the parked cars. Also note the silver-roofed houses mentioned above for a sense of location.
The brakes of the locomotive being examined, showing signs of excessive heat caused by applied but insufficient brakes.
The handles for the valves on the back of the locomotive, closed with no indication of an impact during the collision.
The SRF documentation on the events, I couldn’t find an English language version.

Train crash reports and analysis, published weekly.