Mixed Signals: The 2006 Thun Train Collision


The location of Thun in Europe.
The approximate site of the accident. The ICE came from the bottom left corner, the BLS-train from the top right (out of Thun Main Station).

The trains involved

Tz173, the ICE-unit involved in the accident, photographed in February 2019.
BLS Re 465 014, the locomotive involved in the accident, helping another Re 465 pull a “Rolling Highway” semi truck transport in July 2005.

The accident

A dwarf signal showing “stop” in an educational video by the SBB. For “proceed”, the two left side lights would be on.
The forward ends of each train after being pulled apart, you can see the ICE clearly being misaligned with the tracks.


The ICE’s derailed cars being visibly knocked out of alignment with the tracks (left) and the leading motor car about to return to Germany (right).
401 073, the leading motor car from the accident, heading towards Switzerland in May 2016.
BLS Re 465 014, the leading locomotive from the accident, showing off its new livery and cooperation-capability (with a new Siemens “Vectron” locomotive) in February 2021.



The royal ICE leaving Dresden Main Station with Queen Elisabeth II on board. One can faintly make out a second “hump” from a second restaurant car in the roof line.

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