UPDATE

Storm Eunice: no rail traffic in several parts of West-Europe

SOMEREN - Een dronefoto van een onstabiele atmosfeer met donkere wolken boven het Brabantse Someren. Nederland gaat gebukt onder de storm Dudley en het KNMI heeft code oranje afgegeven voor de aankomende storm Eunice. ANP / Hollandse Hoogte / Rob Engelaar

All railway traffic in the Netherlands will be halted on Friday from 2 till 10pm due to storm Eunice. This was announced by infrastructure manager ProRail and the NS, which provides passenger services, on Thursday. In Germany and Belgium rail traffic is partly halted. 

Last updated Friday 3pm

NS and ProRail fear weather conditions result in snapped trees on tracks and damaged overhead lines. Furthermore, strong winds will create hazardous situations for service and maintenance crews. The halting of railway traffic will affect both freight and passenger traffic. An exception to this concerns the private rail infrastructure of the Chemelot industrial complex (in Sittard – Geleen). DB Cargo’s activities normally take place here, the operator says.

On Friday at 3pm today, ProRail reported that as soon as the ‘code red’ classification of the weather situation is gone, the railway tracks will be inspected, for both freight and passenger lines. When railway lines are safe, trains will be allowed to pass again. Rail freight corridors will in this way be opened as soon as possible.

Germany

Also Germany is gearing up for the storm on Friday afternoon. In the northwest of the country passenger traffic is suspended from 3pm, in the northeast from 5pm. Deutsche Bahn recommends rail freight traffic to stop running in these areas too, but also notes that it is permitted if necessary, and at a speed not more than 80kmph. These measures could be extended on Saturday morning if needed.

Railway line in Belgium

Belgium

In Belgium, rail traffic is suspended from 2-6pm in the northwest of the country, including the area around the port of Antwerp. Infrabel posted a map on Twitter with railway lines being closed, and railway lines where a maximum speed applies.

Second storm

Storm Eunice is the second storm that hits the west of Europe and the UK this week. On Wednesday night, storm Dudley raged over the region, also impacting rail freight operations. In the northern half of Germany, operations at container terminals and on many railway lines were affected. Train traffic between  the Netherlands and Germany via the border crossing Emmerich was strained due to damage to the catenary.

On Thursday afternoon and Friday morning, operators were able to recover shortly. “Train traffic via Tilburg – Den Bosch and via Eindhoven – Den Bosch resumed this morning at 05.30 am”, said DB Cargo the Netherlands. But it added that DB Cargo’s international train traffic is experiencing delays.

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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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