Dhe problems of Deutsche Bahn with concrete sleepers have led to massive route closures in the German rail network. A listing of the Bahn subsidiary DB network According to the report, there are currently restrictions or full closures at around 165 points in rail transport. This emerges from a response from the Federal Ministry of Transport to a parliamentary question from the Greens member of the Bundestag, Matthias Gastel.
The states of Bavaria, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia are primarily affected, writes the ministry. The concrete sleepers are to blame for the restrictions, which could also have triggered the train accident near Garmisch at the beginning of June with five dead and many injured. Because the same batch from the manufacturer is installed in many places in Germany, 200,000 components had to be tested by the end of August.
“In some places no trains at all”
The railway now sees the suspicion that something is wrong with the sleepers. “First preliminary findings from technical reports by independent testing institutes now suggest that there is a manufacturer error,” the group told the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”: “Some of the sleepers have irregularities in the material properties.”
The ministry’s statement to the Green railway expert Gastel is dated August 18th. It speaks of 40 blocked sections and around 120 sections in which the trains have to drive particularly slowly. According to the railways on Friday, 31 sections were currently completely closed.
The deputy Gastel called on the railways to make rapid improvements. “Safety is clearly the priority,” said the railway policy spokesman for the Greens in the Bundestag, who also sits on the supervisory board of the railway subsidiary DB Netz. “Deutsche Bahn must now do everything possible to quickly replace the damaged railway sleepers and eliminate the slow-moving sections.”
These are one of the reasons for the extremely large number of delays on the train nationwide and “even ensured that in some places no trains can run at all”. Gastel is also calling for a rethink when it comes to purchasing: Deutsche Bahn will “have to use this experience with concrete sleepers in order to be able to better check and ensure the quality of building materials and components in the future”.