Rhine-Alpine News

20.07.2021

European Green Deal: Commission proposes transformation to meet climate ambitions

Photo: M. Brandt

Photo: M. Brandt

The European Commission adopted a package of proposals to make the EU’s climate, energy, land use, transport and taxation policies fit for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. The package, often referred to as “Fit for 55”, includes carbon pricing with spending rules as well as strengthened emission reduction targets and compensation measures. It is further demanding all new cars to be emission-free from 2035. Find the details here (external link).

For the main highway infrastructure, including the Rhine-Alpine Corridor, a goal is to set up new networks of loading stations: Electricity at least every 60 km, hydrogen every 150 km. Furthermore, airplanes and ships must have access to clean electric energy in major ports and airports.

Floods: Assessment for Rhine-Alpine Corridor

High Water

High Water

Last week’s catastrophic floods devastated towns and infrastructure on a large scale. While it centred on the area east of Brussels, west of the Rhine and north of the Mosel, some other parts of Europe were also hit hard. Regional and local damage assessment will take time. However, here is a first overview of the impacts on the Rhine-Alpine corridor as of 20 July:

  • Upstream of Cologne, parts of the Rhine River were temporarily closed for navigation at several instances. Despite some flooding, the situation was far from the catastrophes that occurred along the smaller tributaries and the Meuse River.
  • The main railway line on the left bank of the middle Rhine was closed for several days. Since freight trains usually run on the right bank, there was little influence on goods traffic. The right bank line also took much of the passenger traffic.
  • In the Netherlands, the main rail lines along the corridor basically remained operational, although there apparently was a temporary disruption of traffic patterns.
  • In Belgium, temporary closure of all rail traffic in Wallonia cut off the links between Antwerp / Brussels and Cologne, both for passenger and freight transport. The main freight line from Antwerp to Germany via Montzen has since reopened, so has the high-speed passenger link between Germany and Brussels. The bridge collapse near Pepinster at the parallel old main line thus only has regional impact; that line will remain interrupted until the end of August.
  • Of the corridor’s highway network, the A 61 southwest of Cologne remains closed until further notice. It can be bypassed regionally as well as via the more eastern A 3.
  • Local flooding in Switzerland has so far not disrupted the corridor traffic.

While this means that the backbone of European goods traffic is operating, local detours and disruptions must still be expected. DB Cargo has announced an emergency schedule for the region, prioritizing on urgent deliveries.

Sources: Elwis, ProRail, Infrabel, Deutsche Bahn, ADAC.

Project results: “Green and multimodal in the Rhine-Alpine Corridor”

Symbolic photo: Erich Westendarp

Symbolic photo: Erich Westendarp

The Interregional Alliance for the Rhine-Alpine Corridor EGTC organized together with its Baden-Württemberg members as well as the IHKs Rhein-Neckar and Southern Upper Rhine the workshop series “Promotion of multimodal freight transport along the Upper Rhine as a core area of the Rhine-Alpine Corridor”, funded by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Economics, Labour and Housing in the program “Kapi.Tra – Capitalization of transnational Cooperation for SMEs”.

The detailed report can be downloaded here.

17 September: Rhine-Alpine Talks #10

The 10th Rhine-Alpine Talks on 17 September 2021, 11:00-12:30 h will take up the issue of governance models for functional areas such as European transport corridors. EGTC’s and other cooperation forms will be presented. Find more info and early registration here.


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