News from Austria this afternoon, 30th October 2017 is of a remarkable event involving an ÖBB class 1144 “Howling Gale” electric loco, 1144 259.
At approximately 11:50, the 50-year-old driver of the loco, which fortunately was hauling ECS at the time, stepped off the footplate at Neumarkt-Kallham station for a break. However, it appears that the brakes were either not applied or leaked off, as the train then rolled away – unmanned – towards Wels.
As there was no method of automatically bringing the train to a stop, arrangements appear to have been quickly made to bring the 1144 to a halt by bringing it into contact with a Siemens Desiro EMU forming a local service from Linz, which had been evacuated. This occurred at Haiding station, 22 km (13.6 miles) distant.
Further information does not appear to be available just yet, such as the speed of the 1144 at impact, but this is sure to come out as more is known.
The above is a link to a YouTube video uploaded by laumat.at media e.U.
Both trains suffered damage, but appear not to have derailed. Fortunately, there were no injuries, but the route has still not fully reopened to traffic.