“The cables essential for the operation were cut voluntarily and intentionally”Transport Minister Volker Wissing confirmed in a press release. “It is clear that this is a targeted and deliberate action”he added, stating that the motive was not “still known”. The federal police were in charge of the investigation.
“We now know that the cables were intentionally cut in two places”said Mr. Wissing, referring to a clearly premeditated act. Of the “fiber optic cables” it would have been cut in Berlin and in North Rhine-Westphalia (west), the most populated region of Germany, the popular daily Bild points out.
Thousands of travelers stranded
Such an action would not be within the reach of the first comer and would require “a little knowledge” of the railway system, point out sources close to Deutsche Bahn to Bild. The incident led in particular to the interruption of connections between Berlin and some regions of the west and north of the country such as Schleswig-Holstein, the cities of Hamburg and Bremen or even Lower Saxony and parts of North Rhine. .
The Berlin-Amsterdam connection is also suspended. Thousands of travelers were thus stranded in stations on Saturday morning. Cancellations and delays were still to be expected on Saturday during the day despite the resumption of rail links, Deutsche Bahn warned.
A bad network
This act comes just over two weeks after the sabotage actions against the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines linking Russia to Germany. The German government had meanwhile strengthened the protection of its critical infrastructure. The Deutsche Bahn company is regularly reported for the numerous delays on its lines. It then announced in early September that it would have to carry out titanic work, notably replacing 137,000 concrete sleepers, to improve its tracks.
A train derailment in the Bavarian Alps in early June, which resulted in the deaths of five people and the injuries of more than 40, had provided a tragic illustration of the poor state of the German lines, linked to years of under-investment. These failures fall all the more seriously as the government has encouraged the Germans, great followers of the automobile, to take the train in recent months by offering cheap tickets with the regions.