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Germans Orders Trains Checked BERLIN (AP) -- The German railway said Thursday that it had ordered companies involved in manufacturing its new IntercityExpress-T trains to carry out urgent checks after two derailments prompted the railway to take them all out of service.
No one was injured Wednesday when one of the superfast, modern trains derailed at low speed as it was traveling to a railway workshop in Berlin. The train was hoisted back onto the tracks, and derailed again as it began moving at a snail's pace.
Deutsche Bahn AG pulled all 11 trains, designed to travel at speeds of 140 mph, off their routes for technical inspections and possible repair, the railway said. It was in service between Berlin-Munich, Berlin-Duesseldorf and Stuttgart-Zurich, Switzerland.
The train is designed with tilt technology, allowing it to lean into curves much like a motorcycle to permit higher speeds. The railway had planned to increase the number of T trains in service to 40 with the introduction of its summer schedules in May.
The tilt and steering technology of the train are provided by Fiat and have proven reliable for years. Siemens is responsible for the electronics and power units of the trains, while Bombardier company constructs the engine and parts of the passenger cars.
Karen Lutz of Bombardier Transportation said the company hopes to uncover the problem with the train that derailed before the day is over. She said railway and company experts were trying to determine if the fault was with the wheel assembly or the tracks the train was traveling on.
In June 1998, an earlier-model IntercityExpress derailed and hit a bridge at 125 mph, killing 101 people in postwar Germany's deadliest train accident. Investigators blamed a broken wheel.
-- Martin Thompson (email@example.com), March 02, 2000