Germany: Rail network paralyzed after “sabotage”

“Cables essential to the operation were cut voluntarily and deliberately”confirms Transport Minister Volker Wissing in a statement to the press. “It is clear that this is a targeted and deliberate action”he added, specifying that the motive was not “still known”. The federal police was charged with the investigation.

“We now know that the cables were deliberately cut in two places”said Mr. Wissing, referring to a clearly premeditated. Of the “fiber optic cables” would have been cut in Berlin and in North Rhine-Westphalia (west), Germany’s most populous region, the popular daily Bild mentions.

Thousands of travelers stranded

Such an action would not be within the scope of the former and would require: “some knowledge” of the rail system, underline sources near Deutsche Bahn to Bild. In particular, the incident led to an interruption of connections between Berlin and certain regions in the west and north of the country, such as Schleswig-Holstein, the cities of Hamburg and Bremen or even Lower Saxony and part of North Rhineland.

The Berlin-Amsterdam connection was also suspended. As a result, thousands of travelers were stranded in stations on Saturday morning. Despite the restoration of rail connections, cancellations and delays were still to be expected during the day on Saturday, Deutsche Bahn warned.

A bad network

This law comes just over two weeks after acts of sabotage targeting the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines connecting Russia to Germany. The German government had thereby strengthened the protection of its critical infrastructure. The Deutsche Bahn company is regularly selected because of the many delays on its lines. At the beginning of September, for example, it announced that it would have to carry out major works, in particular the replacement of 137,000 concrete sleepers, to improve its tracks.

The derailment of a train in the Bavarian Alps in early June, which killed five people and injured more than 40, was a tragic example of the poor condition of Germany’s routes, linked to years of underinvestment. These failures are all the more serious as the government has been encouraging the Germans, big followers of the car, to take the train in recent months by proposing, together with the regions, tickets at low prices.