sabotage leading to a massive breakdown of the rail network

The act of sabotage, which targeted radio link cables, paralyzed traffic for about 3 hours this Saturday in the north of the country.

Rail traffic was completely interrupted on Saturday for about three hours in northern Germany due to an act of “sabotage“pointing at radio link cables”essential for the movement of trains“, indicated the Deutsche Bahn company that, initially, had evoked a “train digital radio system failure“.”Cables essential to operation have been deliberately and intentionally cut“Confirmed the Minister of Transport, Volker Wissing, in statements to the press. “It is clear that this is a directed and deliberate action.“, he added, specifying that the reason was not”still known“. The federal police was 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. However, cancellations and delays were still expected on Saturday during the day despite the restoration of rail links, Deutsche Bahn warned.

The company, regularly singled out for numerous delays on its lines, announced in early September that it had to carry out titanic work, including 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 (excluding high-speed trains) has been a huge success, with approximately 52 million tickets sold. This subscription, financed by the State and which saved 1.8 million tons of CO2 emissions according to official data, could be replaced by a somewhat more expensive ticket.


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