German rail operator to check all high speed trains after door loss | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 20.04.2010
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German rail operator to check all high speed trains after door loss

Germany's rail operator Deutsche Bahn has said it will check all doors on its prestigious high speed ICE trains. At the weekend, a door came loose and smashed into an oncoming train.

ICE train

It's not the first time the ICE has caused safety concerns

Deutsche Bahn has announced it will investigate the failure of a door over the weekend and check all the operating trains for faults. The trains will also run at reduced speed in tunnels until the reason for the accident has been determined.

On Saturday, a train travelling from Amsterdam to Basel lost a door in a tunnel on the track between Cologne and Frankfurt.

The door came loose and crashed into the restaurant car of an oncoming train. Six people were injured, four of whom had to be treated in hospital. The door was later recovered in a tunnel near the town of Montabauer.

The track remained closed for ten hours of investigation. The high speed ICE train travels at up to 300 kilometers per hour between Cologne and Frankfurt.

A troubled safety record

Deutsche Bahn's prestigious ICE trains are already facing hefty criticism over their safety record. In July 2008, a train derailed when its axle broke.

Subsequent checks of the same generation trains revealed small cracks in the axles to be a widespread problem. Many of the trains had to be taken out of service to have the malfunctioning parts replaced.

As the wear and tear of material turned out to be higher than previously thought, the trains now have to undergo more frequent checks, leading to disruption in German rail services.

Editor: Susan Houlton

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