UPDATE

Strong winds disrupt rail freight services across Europe

The UK, Northern and Central Europe have been hit by a storm, which has resulted in several disruptions of rail freight services. On Thursday morning, operators are announcing power cuts, terminal closures and service disruptions.

Update Thursday 12.15

“In the northern half of Germany, operation at container terminals and depots is interrupted and operation on many railway lines is problematic. METRANS trains on the corridors to and from Hamburg, Bremerhaven, Rotterdam and Duisburg are being stopped, there are significant delays”, METRANS writes on Thursday morning.

“As a result of the strong wind, damage has been caused to the catenary between Emmerich and Oberhausen, which means that train traffic between the Netherlands and Germany via the border crossing Emmerich is strained. This is the case since Wednesday evening 23.45”, reports DB Cargo the Netherlands on Thursday morning.

According to the operators, the situation will remain for most of the day, but on Friday the western half of Europe will face another, even more violent winter storm. This could lead to more damages.

Earlier story (Wednesday evening 21.30)

On Wednesday evening, several deep sea terminals in the port of Rotterdam had already reported to shut down operations without further due. The RSC Rotterdam terminal continued to operate as usual.

“There is currently no train traffic between Roosendaal and Lage Zwaluwe due to a power failure. DB Cargo trains are diverted as much as possible. The disruption is expected to be resolved around 9:30pm”, the operator reported at 8pm.

The shutdown of deep sea terminals in the Maasvlakte, Rotterdam has an impact on rail freight too. These are important loading points for hinterland traffic by rail.

Preventive measures

Dutch infrastructure manager ProRail has taken measures to prevent train failures as much as possible. A team of ‘incident responders’ are available in all regions to intervene in case of calamities. In addition, contractors have breakdown teams ready, so that they can immediately go on site to carry out repairs.

ProRail asks contractors to secure their building materials to prevent them from ending up on the tracks. Furthermore, a locomotive has been made available to tow stopped trains.

Dudley and Eunice

The storms Dudley and Eunice will hit the Netherlands right after each other. While Thursday afternoon is forecast to be relatively calm, the winds will become stronger again on Friday night.

Currently, wind gusts of 75-90 km/h can be observed throughout the country. Wednesday night is expected to remain stormy.

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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