ARCHIV - 08.12.2017, Thüringen Erfurt: Ein ICE-Sonderzug fährt bei Erfurt über die ICE-Neubaustrecke München - Berlin. (Zu dpa "Bahn-Neubaustrecke verdoppelt Fahrgastzahl auf Berlin-München") Foto: Martin Schutt/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

After the deadly train accident at the end of July in Garmisch-Patenkirchen, the railway announced that 200,000 concrete sleepers in the entire railway network had to be checked for weak points.

At the time, it was said that the concrete sleepers examined were the same type of construction as on the section of track where the train was involved. According to DB information, this corresponds to around 0.25 percent of all concrete sleepers in the network.

On average, the components are 15 years old. If “recognizable changes on the surface” were discovered, the sleepers should be replaced. The work could lead to diversions or delays, the group said after the accident.

In the meantime, the suspicion of a defect in the said components has been confirmed. “First preliminary findings from technical reports by independent testing institutes now suggest that there is a manufacturer error,” said the railway on Friday. “Some of the sleepers show irregularities in the material properties”.

The effects on rail traffic are already immense. The “Süddeutsche Zeitung” has a more detailed list of the affected sections. According to this, the railway had to completely close 47 sections nationwide in August, and the speed had to be slowed down on 118 other passages.

On the affected sections of the route, if they are not blocked, the trains should usually only be half as fast as usual. In almost all federal states there are therefore ailing passages.