An act of “sabotage” paralyzes rail traffic in Germany

An act of “sabotage” paralyzes rail traffic in Germany

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German rail traffic was paralyzed this Saturday in the north of the country after an act of “sabotage” against radio link cables. All regional and high-speed lines were interrupted for almost three hours.

An act of “sabotage” against radio link cables caused, on Saturday October 8, the paralysis of rail traffic in northern Germany. For almost three hours on Saturday morning, all high-speed and regional connections in the north of the country were interrupted.

After the partial restoration of traffic, the Deutsche Bahn company claimed that “sabotage” was the cause of the breakdown. This sabotage was aimed at “essential cables for the circulation of trains,” the German company told AFP.

It would be more precisely the GSM-R radio network of the trains used for communication with the train drivers but also, more generally, as the “central interface between the trains and the infrastructure” of control, according to Spiegel, the first medium to suggest, citing security sources, suspected sabotage.

stranded travelers

However, these essential cables could have been severed “in two places,” says Spiegel.

“Fiber optic cables” would have been cut in Berlin and in North Rhine-Westphalia (west), the most populous region of Germany, the popular daily Bild abounds.

The action against this cable would not be within the reach of the first to arrive and would require “certain knowledge” of the railway system, sources close to Deutsche Bahn underline with Bild, specifying that the federal police is in charge of the investigation.

The incident caused, in particular, the 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 Rhine-Westphalia.

The Berlin-Amsterdam link had also been suspended.

Thousands of travelers were thus stranded at the stations on Saturday morning. Cancellations and delays were still expected during the day on Saturday despite the restoration of rail links, Deutsche Bahn warned.

Reinforced monitoring

This act occurs just over two weeks after the sabotage actions against the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines that link Russia with Germany.

The German government had in the process strengthened the protection of its critical infrastructure.

The Deutsche Bahn company is regularly singled out for numerous delays on its lines. Thus, it had announced at the beginning of September that it would have to carry out a titanic job, in particular with the replacement of 137,000 concrete sleepers, to improve its tracks.

A train derailment in the Bavarian Alps in early June, killing five people and injuring more than 40, provided a tragic illustration of the poor state of German lines, linked to years of underinvestment.

These failures go down all the more badly as the government has in recent months encouraged Germans, big car fans, to take the train.

Tested throughout the summer in Germany, a €9 monthly ticket that allows travel on the entire German network (except high-speed trains) has been a huge success, with approximately 52 million tickets sold.

with AFP

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