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Discovery of US WWII bomb in Cologne disrupts train services

Passengers were warned to expect delays and cancellations on parts of Germany's rail network on Tuesday after a bomb was discovered in the western city of Cologne.

Discovery of US WWII bomb in Cologne disrupts train services
Cologne Cathedral behind the Hohenzollern bridge. Photo: DPA

The bomb dating back to the WWII era was discovered during construction work near the Hohenzollern bridge in Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia.

Authorities warned that the disposal of the bomb would likely result in massive restrictions to Deutsche Bahn's long-distance services.

Trains will not stop at the station Köln Messe/Deutz after 9am, a company spokesperson said in the morning. At the main station, the closing of the Hohenzollern bridge at 12noon is expected to cause major problems.

These disruptions will continue into the afternoon. The total number of trains affected is not clear yet but we've listed some long-distance trains set to be affected below.

The Hohenzollern bridge and the neighbouring central station are one of the most important traffic junctions in the German railway network. During the defusal operation, shipping traffic on the Rhine and the airspace above will also be closed.

Deutsche Bahn tweeted to say there would be delays and cancellations.

The WWII device was found on Monday evening during construction work on the Kennedy bank in Deutz. According to the city council, specialists are to uncover the American '10 Zentner bomb' (weighing about 500kg) this morning. The ground conditions are difficult, however.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about WWII bomb disposals in Germany

An evacuation of the area around will also take place. The evacuation is taking place in parallel. For this purpose, a 500-meter exclusion zone will be established.

According to the council, local businesses, the Cologne Opera and the Rhineland Regional Council are affected. Police said the building belonging to the media group RTL also has to be evacuated. However, broadcasting and production operations will continue from outside, the station announced. In addition, 15 residents have to leave their homes.

Despite it being 75 years since the end of the conflict, World War II bombs are frequently discovered all across Germany.

While they are made safe, there are often mass evacuations and disruption.

According to Deutsche Bahn, the following long-distance connections could be affected and passengers should expect delays or cancellations.

  •     ICE trains Cologne – Wiesbaden – Mannheim – Stuttgart are diverted.
  •     ICE trains Dortmund – Cologne – Frankfurt (M) are diverted.
  •     ICE trains Berlin – Hannover – Hamm (W) – Cologne /Bonn/ Koblenz are diverted.
  •     IC-Trains Hamburg – Münster (West) – Cologne (West) are redirected to Dortmund Hbf.
  •     IC-Trains Hamburg – Bremen – Dortmund – Cologne – Mannheim – Stuttgart/Basel SBB are diverted.
  •     IC trains Hamburg – Bremen – Dortmund – Cologne – Frankfurt (M) – Nuremberg – Passau are diverted.
  •     IC trains Hamburg – Bremen – Dortmund – Cologne – Frankfurt (M) – Nuremberg – Passau are diverted
  •     IC trains Berlin – Hanover – Dortmund – Cologne – Mannheim – Stuttgart – Ulm are diverted.
  •     IC-Trains Norddeich Mole – Emden – Münster (W) – Cologne – Koblenz are diverted
  •     ICE trains Dortmund – Cologne Messe/Deutz – Frankfurt (M) – Würzburg – Nuremberg – Munich are diverted.
  •     ICE trains Dortmund – Cologne – Frankfurt (M) Flugh – Mannheim – Stuttgart – Munich and Basel SBB are rerouted.
  •     ICE trains Dortmund – Cologne Messe/Deutz – Frankfurt (M) Flights – Mannheim – Stuttgart) are redirected
  •     ICE trains Amsterdam Centraal – Cologne – Frankfurt (M) are redirected.
  •     ICE trains Bruxelles-Midi – Aachen – Cologne – Frankfurt (M)) are redirected.
  •     ICE trains Dortmund – Cologne – Frankfurt (M) – Nuremberg – Passau – Vienna are diverted.

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ZURICH

Swiss rail to close ticket counters in Zurich, Bern, Vaud, Ticino and Zug

Switzerland’s Federal Railways (SBB) will be removing the ticket counter from nine stations in the cantons of Zurich, Vaud, Bern, Zug and Ticino

Swiss rail to close ticket counters in Zurich, Bern, Vaud, Ticino and Zug

The SBB made the announcement on Wednesday, saying the decision was made due to a lack of demand. 

Instead, commuters will need to buy tickets from automated machines. 

In the canton of Zurich, the ticket stations in Dietlikon, Hinwil, Kloten, Männedorf and Oberwinterthur will be closed. 

In neighbouring Zug, Cham’s ticket counter will be closed, while the Herzogenbuchsee station in Bern will also go fully automated. 

MAPS: The best commuter towns when working in Zurich

In Latin Switzerland, Pully in Vaud and Biasca in Ticino will see their ticket counters closed. 

The SBB told Swiss news outlet Watson that approximately 95 percent of ticket sales are now made via self-service machines or online. 

The advent of navigation apps has meant the need for personal advice on directions and travel has fallen, particularly in smaller areas or stations with lower traffic. 

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