Railway accident in Müllheim

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After the railway accident in Müllheim, many citizens helped with the recovery of the rubble.

In the railway accident in Müllheim on July 17, 1911, D-Zug 9 drove from Milan to Berlin Anhalter Bahnhof at extremely high speed into a construction site in the Müllheim (Baden) station and derailed. Among other things, 14 dead and 32, some seriously injured, were the result.

Starting position

The platform underpass that still exists today was built in the Müllheim station . The tracks in the construction site area were swiveled. That is why a speed limit stop with a maximum speed of 20 km / h was set up.

The D 9 coming from Milan led through cars to Hamburg and Bremen . There was already warm summer weather in the morning according to the season . The engine driver had drunk a lot due to the heat , especially wine and beer . Such alcoholic beverages were regarded as soft drinks at that time , although the restrictions caused by alcohol were already well known in railway operations. On the Prussian State Railways , alcohol consumption while on duty was banned from 1905.

the accident

The passenger cars of the express train were pushed into one another.

In front of the Müllheim train station, the engine driver of the D 9 fell asleep because of his alcohol consumption . The train drove into the construction site at around 8:30 a.m. at 107 km / h far too fast. Although the engine driver noticed the disaster at the last moment and tried to brake, the train derailed for the most part. The locomotive also derailed first, but then found the track again and was amazingly back on the track . However, the tender and the following passenger cars overturned and pushed into one another due to their kinetic energy . One of the wagons fell into the construction pit .


14 dead and 32, some seriously injured, were the result. Nine people died instantly, and another five as a result of the injuries sustained. First aiders were the men of the medical column of the Müllheim fire brigade , the military from the garrison stationed there , doctors from Müllheim, Badenweiler and Neuenburg am Rhein . The workers who were building the platform underpass were on their breakfast break when the train derailed.

In the subsequent criminal proceedings , the first question was whether and, if so, how alcohol can limit the ability to react and reduce the ability to drive, which was completely new territory at the time. There were as yet no methods for determining alcohol levels in the blood . The court ruled that alcohol was the main cause of the engine driver falling asleep and sentenced him to two years and four months in prison for negligent homicide , negligent bodily harm and transport hazard . The driver was sentenced to six months in prison.

For the first time, the accident sparked a heated controversy about the effects of "alcohol on duty".

Just a few days later, the then Freiburg-based “Weltfilm” produced a short documentary about the train accident.

Freight train accident in 2011

Salvage work

On May 20, 2011 at around 1 p.m., 8 wagons, some of which were loaded with dangerous goods , derailed at a switch in front of the Müllheim station. Due to a hairline crack , a wheel axle on a Swiss freight wagon broke 13 km from the scene of the accident . The freight train , consisting of 25 wagons, came from Cologne and was on its way to Gallarate ( Italy ), which brought back memories of the Viareggio railway accident in June 2009. None of the people waiting on the platforms were harmed, as the derailed wagons came to a halt at the beginning of the passenger platforms, and luckily there was no major chemical disaster either. The long-distance traffic on the Rhine Valley line was interrupted for several days. Approx. 300 people within a radius of about 100 meters around the site of the accident were evacuated because of the risk of explosion . The accident, also because of its relatively mild course, brought back memories of a freight train accident in Eimeldingen to the south , in which an express freight train derailed on April 1, 1977 at 10:58 p.m. and 19 wagons were lifted off the tracks and wedged together.


  • Erich Preuss : Railway accidents at Deutsche Bahn. Causes - Background - Consequences . Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-613-71229-6 , pp. 55-59.
  • Hans Joachim Ritzau: From Siegelsdorf to Aitrang. The railway disaster as a symptom - a study of the history of traffic . Landsberg 1972.
  • Otto de Terra: The Müllheim railway accident in court . Excerpts in: Hans Joachim Ritzau: From Siegelsdorf to Aitrang. The railway disaster as a symptom - a study of the history of traffic . Landsberg 1972, p. 159f.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Photos in: Ludwig Ritter von Stockert : Railway accidents. A contribution to railway operations theory. , Vol. 2. Leipzig 1913, fig. 113–115 and in Preuss.
  2. Eisenbahndirektion Mainz (ed.): Official Journal of the Royal Prussian and Grand Ducal Hessian Railway Directorate in Mainz of December 5, 1905, No. 61 (special issue). Announcement No. 621, pp. 505f.
  3. Ritzau, p. 98.
  4. Preuss.
  5. Ritzau, p. 98.
  6. See de Terra.
  7. Available in the Federal Archives in Berlin.
  8. Badische-zeitung.de , December 24, 2011: accident wagon from Switzerland
  9. Badische-zeitung.de , July 13, 2011, Gabriele Babeck-Reinsch, Andrea Drescher: Broken axle caused the train accident in Müllheim
  10. Badische-zeitung.de , May 21, 2011, Michael Neubauer, Katharina Meyer: Take a deep breath in Müllheim
  11. Badische-zeitung.de , May 20, 2011, Frank Zimmermann, Peter Disch, Matthias Konzok: The Rhine Valley route remains closed
  12. Badische-zeitung.de , May 22, 2011, Katharina Meyer, Volker Münch, Karl Heidegger, dpa : Train accident in Müllheim continues to slow down rail traffic
  13. Badische-zeitung.de , May 20, 2011, Volker Münch, Frank Zimmermann, Franz Schmider, Oliver Huber, Peter Disch, Katharina Meyer: Freight train with toxic substances derailed on the railway line near Müllheim
  14. Badische-zeitung.de , May 20, 2011: Photos: Train accident in Müllheim - wagons overturned
  15. ^ Badische-zeitung.de , May 21, 2011: Photos: Clean-up work after the freight train accident in Müllheim
  16. Badische-zeitung.de , May 24, 2011, Victoria Langelott: "Freight cars were on the platforms"

Coordinates: 47 ° 48 ′ 36.2 "  N , 7 ° 35 ′ 57.3"  E