German police search for suspects after high-speed train shot at near Frankfurt
German authorities have asked for help finding three men who used an air rifle to shoot at a high-speed passenger train near Frankfurt. Several of the train's windows were damaged, but no one was injured.
Three suspects who shot at a high-speed Deutsche Bahn ICE train with an air rifle are still at large, a federal police spokesman said on Tuesday.
Authorities have not yet been able to identify the men, and are asking witnesses to come forward with any possible clues. The men are being investigated for dangerous interference with railway traffic.
Hidden in a wooded area outside of Frankfurt, the men shot at the passenger train with at least one air gun on Monday as the train was traveling on its way to the western city of Essen around 3:30 p.m. local time.
"Fortunately, none of the windows were penetrated and no passengers were injured," a police spokesman told local public broadcaster Hessenschau on Monday.
Following the air rifle assault, the damaged train is being inspected by forensic detectives for further clues. The results of their investigation should be ready by Thursday, a police spokesman told German news agency DPA.
rs/tj (AFP, dpa)
Infrastructure of tomorrow
One of the many contested issues in the German election campaign was the future of Germany's infrastructure. Will the car remain the No.1 means of transport? Or are we already witnessing a shift away from roads towards rail and water traffic? The most important criteria are environment protection and benefits for ordinary citizens.
No getting through
For motorists, especially commuters, getting from A to B is a daily struggle. Roughly 1,900 traffic jams plague German highways on a daily basis. Narrowed lanes, miles-long construction sites and an endless stream of trucks frequently make the trip to work twice as long as usual.
Road works congest roads
Expanding the road network is very costly for taxpayers — and strains drivers' nerves. On average, 400 construction sites nationwide regularly lead to delays and traffic jams. Politicians have been promising improvements to road construction methods for years, including more work at night and on Sundays. So far, however, such measures have rarely materialized.
Road damages and aging bridges
Many roads are in need of repair and chronically overstrained. Some 6,000 bridges have fallen into a state of disrepair, Germany has earmarked roughly 90 billion euros ($107.8 billion) until 2030 for reconstructing them, which is extremely pricey. But the investment comes at an additional cost: More construction sites bring about even more traffic jams.
Delays in rail traffic
A delayed train often means missing a connection. The remedy? Use your own car! Oftentimes, poor transport links are to blame for people taking the car instead of public transportation. Germany's Green party thus pushes for a modernized rail network so that everyone can travel in an eco-friendly manner.
Shifting freight transports
An endless stream of highway-clogging trucks is a common sight in Germany, which is why the Social Democrats want to promote inland waterway transport. In the future, freight transport is to take place on waterways and rail tracks. 130 billion euros of the budget for traffic routes are allocated for the expansion of these alternative traffic routes alone.
Toll on cars?
Tolls for automobiles are also a major topic: Repairing highways is an expensive undertaking. Parties' positions on this issue vary widely: The Green party calls for a toll for vehicles heavier than 3.5 tons, the Social Democrats for those heavier than 7.5 tons. And the Left party and the pro-business Free Democratic Party are against introducing tolls on passenger vehicles altogether.
Speed limit — an eternal debate
The Green and Left parties call for a general speed limit on Germany's famed Autobahn. In case they will get to call the shots after Germany's general election, the top speed will be 120 kilometers per hour (75 miles per hour). Their argument: Going faster is damaging to the environment, with safety concerns and noise prevention also under consideration.
Fostering public transit
Germany's Green party also promotes a shift away from cars toward better public transportation. if they have their say, every German will have access to public means of transport. To that end, a denser railway network is to guarantee punctuality and connectivity. Moreover, public transit is to become completely accessible and more affordable.
The pro-business FDP bets big on digitalization, also on the road. Smart electric and self-driving buses are to make passenger transportation safer, faster and more environmentally friendly.
When it comes to electrifying tomorrow's transport, Germany's political parties are far from being on the same page. While Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Green party endorse subsidizing e-mobility, the FDP and the Left parties vehemently oppose it. Nonetheless, the Left and Green parties are certain that no new diesel cars will be allowed come 2030.