Floods in Navarre, Spain – rail freight lines closed

Heavy rainfall and floods in the Spanish region of Navarre have caused disruptions to the rail freight network. The rail freight line between Madrid and Irun has been closed since Thursday. It is the second wave of floods in Spain since the end of summer; in September heavy rainfall also resulted in floods in Navarre.

The line between Irún and Madrid has been closed since Thursday 16 December and trains are redirected to Barcelona. This line is the Spanish leg of the Yiwu-Madrid line, the longest railway line of the world connecting China and Spain. It is not yet clear which other lines have been affected, an inquiry has been made.

Spain’s gateway

Heavy rain accompanied by the thawing of snow at higher altitudes hit the Navarre region on 9 December 2021. As a result, the Ebro, Ega, Bidasoa and Arga rivers flooded. On 12 December, President of Navarre region María Chivite said a total of 74 municipalities have been affected. Two people have died. This was reported by floodlist.com.

The region of Navarre is an important gateway for rail freight to and from the north-west of Europe. Services such as the Cologne-Irún line (connecting to Germany) or the Hendaye-Irún line (connecting to France) are good examples. It is also the hinterland of the important ports of Santander and Bilbao.

Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is the editor-in-chief of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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