UPDATE – Germany does not rule out Russian sabotage of rail network

German train network disrupted after improvised explosive device discovered at station

Image of Deutsche Bahn train Credit: cc/kafeeeinstein

22:40 (October 9) -German police have not ruled out the possibility that the act of sabotage that brought rail services in the North to a standstill on Saturday, was perpetrated by a state actor.

Fingers today Sunday, October 9 were pointed at Russia as the possible state behind the sabotage according to news site AFP, however, they also say that the possibility exists that it was committed by the extreme left.

Underpinning the theory that sabotage by an organised and large player is the fact that the service interruption took place symmetrically in two different parts of the network. The two areas affected were some 540 kms apart which makes it extremely unlikely that it was an act of vandalism.

The German newspaper Bild has also pointed a figure at a state player saying that the disrupted services were not far from where the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines were sabotaged.

Swedish authorities have said on initial inspection sabotage could not be ruled out, again blaming a state actor saying that few would have the capability of causing the damage.

In terms of the German train disruption, investigators believe that those involved had internal knowledge of the workings of the rail system.

Although it is believed that there are few clues to go on, police say it could have been the radical left as they have conducted this kind of attack before.

For now, police are keeping an open mind as they conduct their investigations, however, many voices within the political scene are openly accusing Russia of sabotaging the train lines in retaliation for the country’s support for Ukraine.

19:58 (October 8) – German has confirmed that sabotage brought the railway network in the north of the country to a standstill this morning, Saturday, October 8.

According to the country’s Minister of Transport, Volker Wissing, trains were paralysed for around three hours due to sabotage of the cable network.

Wissing said: “Deutsche Bahn, has had to interrupt all train traffic in the north of the country this morning due to acts of sabotage in the cable network.

He went on to tell reporters that the cables which “were intentionally and premeditatedly cut” are “indispensable for rail traffic to operate safely.

“Due to the quick handling of the crisis by Deutsche Bahn and in coordination with the Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport, the train service can still be resumed in the morning.”

He said damaged cables have been found in two areas but did not elaborate, but added that federal police were investigating what they say is a deliberate criminal act. At this stage, they have no evidence as to who or what is responsible or why the cables were damaged.  

Sources quoted by “Bild” say that the attack against the so-called GSM-R cables (Global System for Mobile Communications – Railway or Global System of Mobile Communications for Railways) requires specific knowledge to selectively interrupt them.

That would suggest someone with knowledge of the rail network rather than vandals.

All trains are once again running as normal although some delays have been experienced after Germany confirms sabotage brings the railway network in the north to a standstill.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com.