Traditionally Safe: The 2011 Olten (Switzerland) Train Collision

Background

The location of Olten in Europe.
The approximate site of the collision (red). The blue line marks the route of the S-Bahn, the green line that of the Interregio.

The trains involved

SBB Re 420 11184, the locomotive pulling the Interregio involved in the accident, photographed a week before the accident.
A two-car RBDe 561, identical with the one involved in the accident, serving the same line in May 2011.

The accident

Passengers leaving the Interregio after the accident.

Aftermath

The Re 420’s destroyed driver’s cab.
A photo from the report showing the two trains in their final positions.
Trackside Integra-Signum magnets (left) and one of the train-mounted magnets on an SBB Be 6/8 III “Crocodile” (right)
A cab-view photo from the report showing the inactive ZUB-components passed by the S9 moments before the collision.
Damage from the Interregio grinding along the S9 as it derailed.
The severely damaged Re 420 photographed in storage in 2012 ahead of being scrapped.
SBB Re 420 147, one of the last units in service with the SBB, photographed in September 2022.

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Train crash reports and analysis, published weekly.

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