The worst rail crash of the high speed age in Europe occurred near the German village of Eschede in June 1998. 101 people were killed and a further 88 suffered serious injuries.
An InterCity Express (ICE) train was travelling at 200 kilometers per hour when it derailed and hit a road bridge after a steel wheel rim broke off. It later emerged that reports of abnormal vibrations and noises coming from the wheel had been filed in the weeks before the crash but had not been followed up.
Fifteen months later, at Ladbroke Grove in London, 31 people lost their lives and more than 500 were injured when two trains collided almost head-on.
The driver of one of the trains had failed to stop at a red signal light.
A subsequent inquiry blamed several factors including inadequate driver training procedures and failure to act on complaints from drivers that some signals were not sufficiently visible.
And again in Germany in September 2006, 23 people died when a magnetic levitation, or maglev, train travelling at 200 kilometers per hour hit a maintenance vehicle that was clearing the track of debris.
At the time, the train operator indicated that human error was the cause. An official investigation is ongoing.
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