New rail link increases capacity in port of Rotterdam
First train on the new line ©Port of Rotterdam / Danny Cornelissen
Railway manager ProRail successfully connected the Theemswegtracé in the Port of Rotterdam to the existing Port Railway Line. The planned six-day closure of the Port Railway Line that was necessary to achieve this has now ended. The first freight train ran over the brand new, four-kilometre track at 5 a.m. this Monday morning.
Time saving is the main advantage for freight transport via the new route. Goods trains can now enter and exit the port without delay. Previously, trains had to wait for the Caland Bridge several times a day, when it would open for ships to pass. Also, the new route increases rail capacity considerably. Read the news here (external link).
Thalys and Eurostar move closer to merger
International Thalys train Photo: Bart/Wikipedia
The international passenger train operators Thalys and Eurostar have renewed their talks for merger. While Eurostar connects Paris, Brussel, and other cities with London, a backbone of the Thalys network is the Cologne – Brussels – Paris line, using the Rhine-Alpine corridor for its eastern leg. Combining the services, as desired by their owners since 2019, was delayed during the pandemic. It would create an extensive international rail network in north-western Europe. See the original Thalys statement on the proposal (external link).
Wiesbaden: Salzbachtal bridge collapsed in controlled demolition
Salzbachtal Bridge is falling down ©Autobahn GmbH
The Salzbachtalbrücke in Wiesbaden near Frankfurt was built in the early sixties and due for replacement when this June severe structural damage was found. Not only the Autobahn bridge itself had to be closed, but also all traffic underneath. This included the entrance to downtown Wiesbaden from the south as well as almost all passenger trains, cutting off Wiesbaden central station. While most affected traffic was regional, the loss of these key network parts created bottlenecks around Wiesbaden, thus affecting the Rhine-Alpine corridor.
Last Saturday, the bridge was brought down in a controlled demolition. After removing the debris, at least passenger rail traffic and the local road link will reopen within six weeks. Then, construction of the new bridge can start. One half of the new bridge will be completed in autumn 2023 and allow for provisional two lanes in each direction. The other half is due for 2026. More info here (external link).
Rhine-Alpine Talks “Roadmap towards a Carbon Neutral Rhine-Alpine Corridor”
The last Rhine-Alpine Talks in 2021 taking place on 3 December, 11:00-12:30 h will present the “Roadmap Towards a Carbon Neutral Rhine-Alpine Corridor” developed by the EGTC in close consultation with its boards. For more information see the event page here!