Go to home page

German Railway Sabotage Paralyzes North German Network

Oct. 8, 2022 (EIRNS)—In what is officially being called sabotage, the railway network for long-distance traffic in northern Germany was paralyzed for three hours on Saturday morning, Oct. 8. The Deutsche Bahn said the damage was not a technical defect but was caused by the theft or destruction of cable connections of the radio system, in two separate locations.

Long-distance travel to or from Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony and in the direction of Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe, Berlin and North Rhine-Westphalia was affected. The ICE high speed trains, which are dependent on these cables, were unable to function. Most service has now been restored.

According Deutsche Bahn, what caused the disruption was a widespread failure of the GSM-R, or Global System for Mobile Communications-Railway, radio network used by the railroad in northern Germany. The network is not only used for radio communications between control centers and trains, but also for the digital transmission of timetable data. The GSM-R wired connections were cut which are “used for communication between the control centers that control the train traffic and the trains, and is therefore an indispensable part of smooth train traffic.”

Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) told media: “Cables that are essential for train traffic were willfully and deliberately severed,” he said. “Nothing worked without them.”

According to Der Spiegel, the cables were cut in two places: at Herne, where the cable duct on a railway line was cut at around 2 a.m. (CET; 00:00 UTC); then another near Berlin-Karow, which served as a back-up for the data line severed at Herne. So it is clear that the saboteur has technical knowledge of how the system works. Radical leftist groups had sabotaged the railway in the past, since these cables are not hard to reach. But in this instance, the way they were cut was beyond what these amateurs had done in the past. The Federal police are conducting a criminal investigation, but have released no indication as to whether they know who the perpetrators were.

Back to top    Go to home page clear