The accident occurred on a signal-track line between Rosenheim and Holzkirchen and resulted in the death of 12 passengers and injury to another 85. It was discovered that, contrary to DB regulations, the signalman was playing an online computer game on his smart phone while on duty, which distracted him from his work and caused him to make fatal mistakes in dispatching the two trains onto the same section of track.

To make matters worse, when the signalman realised his mistake, he operated the wrong alarm button which meant he failed to intervene in time to avoid the head-on collision.

During the court trial, it became clear that DB should have already resignalled the line to provide a higher level of safety. However, DB was unable to explain why this has not taken place.

Some of the people affected by the train crash plan to start legal proceedings against DB Networks which, as network manager, is responsible for the infrastructure and train dispatching, in order to claim compensation.

Meridian, the train operator, is a brand of Bavarian Overland Railway (BOB), which is a subsidiary of Transdev.

For more information about railway projects around the world, subscribe to IRJ Pro.