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Rastatt rail freight corridor reopens

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The Rhine Valley rail freight corridor via Rastatt reopened last week, allowing European intermodal operators full-capacity on north-south services again.

However, an intermodal operator said that “due to the intense re-routings of locos, wagons and staff on alternative routes over the last seven weeks, it will take time to bring the situation back to normal”.

The closure threw European overland supply chains into chaos. According to the Swiss rail operator, only around 84 freight trains a day could find alternative routes.

It would take time to determine the permanent impact on shippers’ appetite for rail freight.

At the end of last week, a group of European rail freight operators and shippers wrote an open letter to the EC transport commissioner, the 28 European transport ministries and the EU’s agency for railways, calling for immediate financial assistance for the rail freight sector as it struggles to clear the backlog of cargo.