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Berlin train chaos threatens athletics

Berlin's regional train network, plunged into chaos in recent weeks by safety problems, may not return to normal until December, an official said, threatening misery for commuters, tourists and visitors to the World Athletics Championships in August.

Since a cracked wheel caused a derailment on May 1, Germany's Federal Railway authority has ordered that all trains on which the wheels had not been duly inspected be pulled off the system.

The result: overcrowded trains, packed platforms, delays, cancellations and commuter chaos, leading mass circulation daily Bild to rename the network "Stress Bahn" - a play on the system's German name, S-Bahn. And as the problem affects a large proportion of the train stock, the chaos could last for months.

"We will be able to offer a complete timetable service again in December," said Deutsche Bahn board member Ulrich Homburg quoted in Berlin-based daily Tagesspiegel.

BERLIN, Wednesday, AFP

 

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