Numerous long-distance trains were canceled between Hamburg and Berlin on Friday morning due to vandalism. Deutsche Bahn announced this online. A spokesman for the Hamburg fire department reported that there were fires in Deutsche Bahn cable ducts in several parts of the city on Friday night. Supply lines for signaling and communication technology were affected. The fires were discovered between 2:30 a.m. and 3:40 a.m. and were extinguished by the fire department.

The LKA speaks of “intentional arsons” and is investigating the case. On Friday afternoon, the Hamburg police announced that investigators were assuming a political motive for the crimes.

Hours after the crime, a letter of responsibility appeared on the left-wing platform Indymedia. “On the night of September 7th we sabotaged traffic arteries of the capitalist infrastructure in Hamburg,” it says. “A few liters of gasoline in the cable shafts on the rails should lead to long-term failures or restrictions in the transport of raw materials procured, for example, in the course of neo-colonial exploitation and earth-destroying extractivism.”

However, the letter primarily refers to freight transport. The act should therefore concern sections of the route “that are not used for passenger transport”. Nevertheless, passenger traffic between Berlin and Hamburg was severely disrupted on Friday. A large number of long-distance trains between the two cities were canceled during the day.

“We are aware of the confession letter and will of course be included in the investigation or is already part of it,” said the Hamburg police upon request. Security circles also said it was not yet clear whether the letter was authentic. In terms of the approach and the justification contained therein, the act would fit in with the actions of certain actors from the left spectrum. The letter refers, among other things, to the “Tren Maya” railway project in Mexico, which is controversial due to possible consequences for the environment and the indigenous population.

Both long-distance and local transport are affected by the disruptions. According to a company spokeswoman, rail traffic on the route is likely to be disrupted until Saturday. “A resumption of traffic between Hamburg and Berlin will probably not be possible until Saturday morning,” a railway spokeswoman said on Friday. “Some of the long-distance trains are being rerouted via Uelzen or are canceled,” the railway said.

Diversions via Uelzen usually cause delays of around 30 minutes on the route between Hamburg and Berlin. The DB’s online timetable information showed that around two thirds of the ICE connections between Hamburg and Berlin are currently canceled.

“As an alternative, journeys with a change in Hanover are also possible. This increases the journey time,” said a DB spokesman. A resumption of traffic between Hamburg and Berlin will probably only be possible again in the course of the evening.

According to DB information, ICE and IC trains between Hamburg – Rostock – Stralsund (- Ostseebad Binz) were also affected by the vandalism damage – tens of trains were also canceled here.

The police are looking for witnesses. Anyone who has observed something suspicious can call the Hamburg police tip line on 040 4286-56789 or contact a police station directly.

Further sources: Hamburg Police

Note: This article has been updated several times.