River cruise lines prepare 2021 season
Cruise ships awaiting the season at Cologne ©Martin Brandt
River cruise lines are planning to start the 2021 season across Europe. Their largest market with more than 200 cruise ships is the Rhine with its tributaries. In response to the Covid-19 challenge, IG River Cruise, the European River Cruise Association, has issued a hygiene concept that will be the minimum standard for the member companies, which according to IG River Cruise represent more than 80% of the industry. However, members are free to apply stricter standards on their own. Find the concept here (external link).
Plans for long distance passenger services
At the Rail Summit of the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, numerous EU Member States pledged to support the German TEE 2.0 strategy for international high-speed and overnight rail services. The proposal defines a TEE 2.0 as a fast international long distance train, offering a superior level of comfort. Of the three first lines proposed for implementation, two would use the Rhine-Alpine corridor:
From December 2021: Zurich-Amsterdam
From December 2023: Vienna/Berlin-Brussels/Paris
Find the whole news here (external link).
Basel Port Bridge to be raised
The rail bridge across the entrance of Basel’s “Kleinhüningen” port basin 2 will be rebuilt to allow a clearance of 7.5 meters instead of today’s 7 meters. The existing bridge already has minimum clearance for three-level container barges under typical conditions. However, the true height of container barges depends on the weight of containers as well as on specifics of the individual ship, besides water level. Therefore, the additional 50 centimetres will have a significant stabilizing effect on container operation. Since two other bridges at the port entrance also have a 7.5-meter clearance, this was defined as the new level.
Construction will start in November and be finalized in early 2023. Read the details here (external link, German language).
“European Year of Rail“ at next Rhine-Alpine Talks on 25 June
The Rhine-Alpine Talks #9 will deal with the topic “The European Year of Rail – how to increase rail’s share in transporting people and goods in the Rhine-Alpine corridor?” EU Corridor Coordinator Pawel Wojciechowski, German State Secretary Michael Güntner, as well as representatives of regional institutions along the corridor will present their views. Find details and registration link here.