Fire halts northern Ringbahn

Bus replacement service between Schönhauser Allee and Neukölln stations. Police investigating whether the fire is part of arson series.

The sign says you're going to be late to work.
The sign says you're going to be late to work.Photo: Eric Richard

Berlin-An electrical fire at Frankfurter Allee S-Bahn station paralysed the northern section of Berlin's public transport network early Monday with the Ringbahn between Schönhauser Allee in Prenzlauer Berg and Neukölln out of service as well as parts of the S8 and S9 down. The S85 is not running.

S-Bahn Berlin, which operates the trains, said it had created emergency bus replacement service for the Ringbahn between the Neukölln and Schönhauser Allee stations. Police are investigating whether the fire was accidental, vandalism or an attempt at a political statement, a police spokesperson confirmed to the Berliner Zeitung.

A report in the Morgenpost said police suspect the fire was set intentionally and are looking for a letter explaining the arson. If intentional, the fire would be the latest of about a half-dozen such fires since 2011 when an extensive attack hit cables and the then-under construction Ostkreuz.

In April communication cables in Charlottenburg were set on fire and the "Volcano Group" claimed responsibility to protest the corona app as well as the lockdown – the corresponding letter was posted on the leftwing site Indymedia.

The western section of the Ringbahn is running in both directions every 10 minutes between Schönhauser Allee and Neukölln via Westkreuz and Südkreuz, while the S9 is only running between Schönefeld Airport and Schöneweide as well as between Ostbahnhof and Spandau. The S8 is running between Birkenwerder and Blankenburg.