The ICE Train Accident Near Eschede

  • Michiel Brumsen
Part of the Issues in Business Ethics book series (IBET, volume 29)


On 3 June, 1998 a serious accident occurred at Eschede involving Deutsche Bahn’s (German Railway) prestigious Inter City Express (ICE) train. ICE 884, “Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen” derailed at high speed (approx 200 km/h) and hit a viaduct that then collapsed on the train. The carriages that followed zigzagged like an accordion against the collapsed viaduct. The accident resulted in 101 dead and 88 injured. It sparked the greatest rescue operation undertaken to date in post-war Germany. This train had been synonymous with safety, reliability and progress. How could the accident have happened? At first glance, this accident was an unfortunate, and perhaps hardly foreseeable, failure of a part that unexpectedly proved to be very crucial. Yet, the case can very well be analysed as a situation that could have been prevented had the technology been better organized.


Rubber Tire Fraunhofer Institute Emergency Brake Rigid Coupling Engine Driver 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Delft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands

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