Rail freight connection Freiburg-Basel has reopened

Rail freight traffic between Freiburg in Germany and Basel in Switzerland resumed Wednesday evening at at 20.30 (CET) after it was closed due to a fatal accident in the on the Rhine Valley railway in Germany. The first two days there will still be a speed limit on part of the route. Rail freight operator DB Cargo confirms this after DB Netz announced the release of the railway earlier today.

On Thursday, 2 April, a severe accident took place on the railway near Augen, Germany. The driver of a Rollende Landstrasse (ROLA), a transit train with trucks, was killed and part of the rail infrastructure was severely damaged.

The freight train was on its way to Italy from Freiburg im Breisgau. Just before that, a bridge construction at Augen had collapsed and fell down on the track. The freight train then collided with the concrete bridge section. The drivers of the trucks were resting in a passenger train. Some of them were slightly injured in the collision.

Rhine-Alpine Corridor

After the accident, the section between Freiburg and Basel, which is part of the Rhine-Alpine Corridor, was immediately closed. The Rhine-Alpine corridor is one of the busiest rail freight routes in Europe. It connects the main North Sea ports of Belgium and the Netherlands to the Mediterranean port of Genoa in Italy.

A major rail incident also occurred on the Rhine-Alpine corridor in August 2017, when a tunnel had collapsed near Rastatt, Germany. This put rail transport on the European rail freight corridor flat for some time and had a huge impact on international rail freight transport.

No standstill

After the accident at Augen train traffic did not come to a complete standstill. After the major incident at Rastatt, European railway parties worked on a crisis plan, whereby diversion routes can be quickly set up after an incident. Two alternative routes were proposed shortly after the incident. One of the routes diverted the train traffic via Singen and the other route through the Black Forest, passing Offenburg.

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Author: Marieke van Gompel

Marieke van Gompel is editor of RailFreight.com and chief editor of the ProMedia Group online magazines.

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