A look at some of the recent train disasters in Europe

A head-on collision Dozens have been killed and dozens more injured between a passenger train and a freight train in Greece. Train travel in Europe is a common and relatively affordable and convenient way to travel for many Europeans.

It also has a good overall safety record and has become safer in recent years. But the tragedy in Greece is a reminder of how deadly accidents can be when they happen. Here’s a look at some of the deadliest train crashes in recent years.

funicular fire

In November 2000, A cable car on a funicular caught fire in a mountain tunnel in Kaprun, Austria, killing 155 people. The dead were skiers and snowboarders on their way to the slopes of the Kitzsteinhorn.


In June 1998, a bullet train was traveling at 200 km/h (125 mph) collided with a bridge in Eschede, Germany, an accident that killed 101 people and injured more than 100. It was Germany’s deadliest post-war railway disaster.


In July 2013, a commuter train went off the rails as it rounded a bend near the northwest Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela, killing 80 people and injuring 145 others. An investigation showed the train was traveling 179 km/h (111 mph) on a line with a speed limit of 80 km/h (50 mph) when it left the tracks and crashed into a brick wall. Finally the case went to court in October with the driver and a former railway safety director charged with professional negligence. A verdict is expected in the coming months.


A subway is traveling at excessive speed fell into an underground tunnel in the eastern city of Valencia in July 2006, killing 43 people and injuring dozens more. It took 13 years for a court to find four managers of the city’s subway system guilty of involuntary manslaughter for failing to take the necessary safety measures to prevent the tragedy.


In January 2006, a braking system failure on a train resulted in it derailing and fall into a ravine outside the Montenegrin capital of Podgorica. The crash killed 45 people, including five children, and injured another 184. It was the worst train disaster in the history of Montenegro.


In 2009, a freight train loaded with petrol derailed at Viareggio train station near the Tuscan city of Lucca, exploding and killing 32 people. Poorly maintained axles on the train were blamed.


The worst rail accident in Britain in 30 years occurred in October 1999 when a train leaving Paddington station in London ran a red light and collided with an oncoming high-speed train, killing 31 people. Around 400 people were injured.

Commuter trains collide

In July 2016, two Italian commuter trains collided head-on between towns in the southern region of Puglia in the late morning, killing 31 people and injuring scores more. An investigation revealed a communication error between the stations from which each train had departed.


On February 15, 2010, two commuter trains collided just outside Brussels during the morning rush hour when one ran a red light. In total, 19 people were killed and 171 injured in the country’s worst train accident. Adding to the tragedy, a similar red light accident had happened years earlier and promises to add safety measures were not fully implemented.

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https://www.local10.com/news/politics/2023/03/01/a-look-at-some-of-europes-train-disasters-in-recent-times/ A look at some of the recent train disasters in Europe

Sarah Y. Kim

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