Floods in Italy: what is the impact on rail freight?

Image: LinkedIn. © Lugo Terminal Lugo Terminal

The Italian region of Emilia Romagna, in the northeast, was hit by catastrophic flooding that caused 14 victims and stranded tens of thousands. The rail freight sector has been impacted as well since the rail section between Rimini and Forlì is still not practicable. Italian infrastructure manager Rete Ferroviaria Italiana communicated that the Rimini-Forlì rail section will remain closed at least until Friday 26 May.

Different companies were impacted differently. State-owned rail freight company Mercitalia, for example, said that it is experiencing the delays one would expect from an interrupted line. Other local companies, however, are having more difficulties in dealing with the situation. Lugo Terminal, which operates a terminal in the heart of where the flooding hit, still has its phones out of order. RailFreight.com had a chat with Fabio Piliego, Head of Sales Italian Market at GTS Logistic, an Italian company that relies on this railway with three to four daily trains.

“The impact of the flooding was strong and our capacity on the Adriatic line has been compromised,” Piliego explained. As he added, it is more problematic for the rail sector to react to such events, since finding alternatives is not always a quick process. The closed section creates a disconnect between the rail terminal in Jesi with the one in Bologna is blocked. This, therefore, impacts transport between the north and south of Italy and consequently the north and south of Europe.

GTS looking for alternatives

GTS is managing to find viable alternatives to still offer its services, albeit partially. The company offers rail freight services on the north-south European axis, which is now blocked due to the flooding. For example, some of the traffic has been redirected to the Tyrrhenian Railway, running along the Italian west coast. Moreover, GTS introduced two daily trains between Jesi and Bari and two weekly trains between Jesi and Brindisi. From here, the convoys can be moved along the Tyrrhenian Railway. “Capacity on this line remained stable and we even managed to increase it”, Piliego pointed out.

Another solution brought forward by GTS is to move the cargo from rail to road for the section connecting Bologna and Jesi. This, as Piliego stated, is a possible solution for GTS because they already have established relationships with the terminals in both locations. GTS trains can therefore run from Rotterdam, Zeebrugge, or the north of Italy to Bologna, then the goods are moved to the road until Jesi. There, they can be reloaded on the rail and reach the south of Italy, where they can be shipped to Turkey and Greece.

The recent floods in Emilia Romagna

The situation in Emilia Romagna took a drastic turn this month, with six months’ worth of rain coming down on the region in a span of two weeks. As the Region mentioned, 43 towns have been affected by the floods, which caused 21 rivers to overflow on the streets. Over 600 roads have been closed as well, 225 partially and 397 fully. Moreover, there are concrete risks of landslides, with over 1,000 being active, of which over 300 are considered dangerous. The weather alert remains in place today as well, despite rain is not forecasted.

Image: Twitter. © cacciadiscienza

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Author: Marco Raimondi

Marco Raimondi is an editor of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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Floods in Italy: what is the impact on rail freight? | RailFreight.com

Floods in Italy: what is the impact on rail freight?

Image: LinkedIn. © Lugo Terminal Lugo Terminal

The Italian region of Emilia Romagna, in the northeast, was hit by catastrophic flooding that caused 14 victims and stranded tens of thousands. The rail freight sector has been impacted as well since the rail section between Rimini and Forlì is still not practicable. Italian infrastructure manager Rete Ferroviaria Italiana communicated that the Rimini-Forlì rail section will remain closed at least until Friday 26 May.

Different companies were impacted differently. State-owned rail freight company Mercitalia, for example, said that it is experiencing the delays one would expect from an interrupted line. Other local companies, however, are having more difficulties in dealing with the situation. Lugo Terminal, which operates a terminal in the heart of where the flooding hit, still has its phones out of order. RailFreight.com had a chat with Fabio Piliego, Head of Sales Italian Market at GTS Logistic, an Italian company that relies on this railway with three to four daily trains.

“The impact of the flooding was strong and our capacity on the Adriatic line has been compromised,” Piliego explained. As he added, it is more problematic for the rail sector to react to such events, since finding alternatives is not always a quick process. The closed section creates a disconnect between the rail terminal in Jesi with the one in Bologna is blocked. This, therefore, impacts transport between the north and south of Italy and consequently the north and south of Europe.

GTS looking for alternatives

GTS is managing to find viable alternatives to still offer its services, albeit partially. The company offers rail freight services on the north-south European axis, which is now blocked due to the flooding. For example, some of the traffic has been redirected to the Tyrrhenian Railway, running along the Italian west coast. Moreover, GTS introduced two daily trains between Jesi and Bari and two weekly trains between Jesi and Brindisi. From here, the convoys can be moved along the Tyrrhenian Railway. “Capacity on this line remained stable and we even managed to increase it”, Piliego pointed out.

Another solution brought forward by GTS is to move the cargo from rail to road for the section connecting Bologna and Jesi. This, as Piliego stated, is a possible solution for GTS because they already have established relationships with the terminals in both locations. GTS trains can therefore run from Rotterdam, Zeebrugge, or the north of Italy to Bologna, then the goods are moved to the road until Jesi. There, they can be reloaded on the rail and reach the south of Italy, where they can be shipped to Turkey and Greece.

The recent floods in Emilia Romagna

The situation in Emilia Romagna took a drastic turn this month, with six months’ worth of rain coming down on the region in a span of two weeks. As the Region mentioned, 43 towns have been affected by the floods, which caused 21 rivers to overflow on the streets. Over 600 roads have been closed as well, 225 partially and 397 fully. Moreover, there are concrete risks of landslides, with over 1,000 being active, of which over 300 are considered dangerous. The weather alert remains in place today as well, despite rain is not forecasted.

Image: Twitter. © cacciadiscienza

You just read one of our premium articles free of charge

Want full access? Take advantage of our exclusive offer

See the offer

Author: Marco Raimondi

Marco Raimondi is an editor of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

Add your comment

characters remaining.

Log in through one of the following social media partners to comment.