The collapse of the new rail tunnel at Rastatt in Germany has caused serious disruptions to intermodal freight travelling in western Europe. The European Rail Freight Association (ERFA) has written an open letter to Federal minister Alexander Dobrindt, Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure in Berlin and EU Commissioner Violeta Bulc, the European Commission for Transport – Brussels.
The ERFA points out that in places capacity has been cut by 75%, with some intermodal freight traffic only achieving 15% of its normal targets.
There is in theory diversion capacity for 150 of the 200 freight trains a day that usually run in the Rhine valley in September but
at present, the freight railways can manage only 25% of the normal volumes on the re-routings via Germany, France and Austria.
EFRA thinks that part of the rail freight traffic will be lost to the road, and it will not be possible to win it back for years.
Their report suggests that on important freight transport corridors, there are not enough diversion routes that are planned as stand-by and that can be readily used in case of traffic disruptions