German fast rail traffic paralyzed in south by metal thieves


Monday, 12 February 2024 (18:27 IST)
A high number of high-speed Intercity Express trains were canceled between Frankfurt and Stuttgart on Monday after metal thieves vandalized key infrastructure.
Rail operator Deutsche Bahn said the theft of metal was discovered on Monday morning between Mannheim Central Station and the nearby town of Lampertheim.
The rail network would likely not be restored until the evening, Deutsche Bahn said. Further details were not immediately available.
What trains are canceled?
Deutsche Bahn said all ICE trains operating on the Berlin-Frankfurt-Stuttgart route would be canceled between Frankfurt and Stuttgart.
Some ICE trains traveling from the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia to Munich in the south via Frankfurt Airport and Stuttgart were also canceled.
All other ICE trains between Frankfurt and Mannheim will be rerouted with an expected delay of 20 minutes.
Some local and regional trains in the region were also affected by the disruption.
Metal theft driven by scrap market
Rising prices for scrap metal have encouraged an increasing number of copper thieves in Germany.
These thieves include lone wolves as well as highly organized criminal gangs that use special tools.
Recently, the theft of copper cable near Mannheim in the lead-up to Christmas caused local disruptions for days.
Earlier in February, several ICE trains between Frankfurt and Cologne were disrupted due to another incident of stolen metal.

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