The Cost of Comfort: The 1998 Eschede Train Derailment


The location of Eschede in Europe
The site of the accident from above, the ICE came from the bottom-left. You can see the memorial above the new bridge. Also note the small house to the right of the tracks south of the bridge.

The train involved

Another ICE 1 leaving the Schellenbergtunnel near Nuremberg, showing the distinctive design of the train.
The first generation restaurant car with the characteristic raised roof.
A model of the new three-piece wheel next to the torn tire of the crashed train.

The Accident

An animation showing the switch being operated by accident.
An overview of the wreckage shortly after responders start arriving.
A photo taken by Miss Karl during the recovery of the wreckage, the train nearly took out her house.
The barely damaged leading motor car sitting on the tracks hundreds of meters past the wreckage.


Rescue personal climbing over and into the wreckage.
A crane removing a train car at the floodlit site, allowing responders to search underneath.
The remains of a car found in the wreckage, making responders suspect a collision.
A crane removing one of the train’s rear cars from the wreckage.
Damage to the concrete sleepers 6km from the site of the accident.
A model of the wreckage put on display in the courtroom to help understand what happened.
The hammer and breaking-point in an ICE 1 following the accident.
The rear motor car in storage at Nuremberg in 2005.
The leading motor car from the accident, returned to service, photographed in 2015.
The official memorial next to the railway line, before the installation of a noise protection wall.

The site today

Miss Karl at her home in 2018, along with her Granddaughter. The new bridge is visible on the right.




Train crash reports and analysis, published weekly.

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