Two fires damaged 48 cables, Transport Minister Clément Beaune said, describing it as “an act that is scandalous.” The national rail operator, SNCF, said the cables powered signals for trains on the network. It filed a legal complaint, calling the overnight damage deliberate.
The motives for the apparent vandalism were unknown. But it largely shut down Gare de l’Est, a station that generally links Paris to cities and towns in the east, including in neighboring countries. SNCF said the circulation of high-speed trains and slower regional trains to and from the station was suspended, with only services on three lines spared.