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Storm Herwart brings chaos to German rail system

Staff Writer |
Rail services were cancelled in seven German states on Sunday, as a fierce storm ripped up trees and cost at least three people their lives. Train delays are also expected Monday.

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Deutsche Bahn was struggling on Monday morning to bring the incapacitated rail services in the north and east of Germany back onto the grid, after a fierce storm forced them to close down some of the busiest routes in the country, DPA reported.

The area around Hamburg is set to be hit hardest by delays and cancellations on Monday.

The key route between the port city and Berlin is only likely to resume normal service later in the day. Services from Hamburg to Dortmund, Bremen, Kiel and Rostock will also face interruptions.

There was good news though for commuters travelling to and from the capital. Services between Berlin and Leipzig, and between Berlin and Erfurt should resume later on Monday.

The same goes for the Dortmund - Hanover service, and the service between Kassel and Hamburg.

By Monday morning, normal services between Berlin and Hanover should have already resumed, likewise services between Hanover and Magdeburg.

Deutsche Bahn completely cancelled rail services in seven German states on Sunday after storm Herwart blasted across much of the country, tearing down trees and killing several people.

A 63-year-old camper in Lower Saxony was the first casualty of the storm when she was caught out by flooding near the North Sea coast and drowned.

In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, a motorboat with three holidaymakers inside capsized on rough seas. Two of the passengers later died in hospital, a third is still missing and rescue operations are continuing.

Meanwhile, a freight ship ran aground on the north sea island of Langeoog with several rescue attempts failing. The 225-metre long Glory Amsterdam was ripped from its moorings by high winds. The 22 crew members still on board are unharmed, life boat services have said.

On Germany's road system, work has also begun to clear the streets of trees that were blown over by the strong winds. The north and east of the country were particularly badly hit.

On Fichtelberg, a 1,215 metre mountain near the Czech border, wind speeds of 176 km/h were recorded.

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