Rhine-Alpine News

09.12.2021

Rail freight disrupted in Germany by maintenance work

Photo (Deutsche Bahn / Oliver Lang): Track maintenance

Photo (Deutsche Bahn / Oliver Lang): Track maintenance

In an open letter, the main rail freight organizations in Europe raise serious concern regarding the amount, gravity and length of disturbances on the German rail network. According to the letter, very intensive construction works are ongoing on the German rail network of DB Netz as a result of a backlog of investments. Many parts of the system – particularly along Rail Freight Corridor Rhine Alpine – have been unable to function efficiently and dozens of international freight trains had to be either parked and/or were heavily delayed.

The letter is signed by CLECAT, ERFA, ESC, ESSENCIA, NEE, RAILGOOD, UIP, UIRR. It is addressed at EU commissioner Adina Vălean, the German federal minister of transport, and the head of DB Netz. The signing parties ask for better coordination, equal rights for passenger and freight trains, and more intensive monitoring. Find the open letter here (external link).

Strasbourg: Rail freight to double by 2030

Photo (PAS): Strasbourg port intermodal terminal

Photo (PAS): Strasbourg port intermodal terminal

The Ports of Strasbourg are preparing for a doubling of their rail traffic, on the one hand by adapting its infrastructure and, on the other hand, by developing incentives for modal shift. In September 2021, the Ports of Strasbourg launched preparatory studies for a new railway terminal. The study project, lasting 2 years and amounting to 1.7 M € is co-financed by the European Union’s CEF fund (50%) and the State Recovery Plan (20%) and could also benefit from co-financing from the Grand Est region, the European Collectivity of Alsace and the eurométropole de Strasbourg. The new terminal will become operative in 2026.

Today, 17 shuttle trains per week serve the container terminals of the Ports of Strasbourg. New connections having been added in recent months (new connection to Zeebrugge, third and fourth weekly shuttles to Rotterdam), strengthening the position from the port as the first freight station in Alsace. Read the whole news here (external link).

Bridge closure adds traffic to Rhine-Alpine corridor

Photo (Michael Kramer - CC BY-SA 3.0): Rahmedetal bridge

Photo (Michael Kramer – CC BY-SA 3.0): Rahmedetal bridge

On 2 December, on the German autobahn line A 45 “Sauerlandlinie” between Dortmund and Frankfurt, the Rahmedetal bridge was closed due to detected structural damage. The local detour leads through suburbs of the town of Lüdenscheid. The bridge may reopen for car traffic, but closure for trucks will be permanent. A number of bridges along that line already have speed and lane restrictions, with reconstruction work on the way. However, the bridge in question had so far not been a priority.

Long distance traffic is advised to bypass the whole line. It is likely that for years to come a significant share of the traffic will use the western detour, adding to congestion on the A 3 Frankfurt – Cologne and the bottlenecks around Cologne, in the heart of the Rhine-Alpine corridor. Read the details here (external link).

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