Rail Cargo Group offers alternatives after the Gotthard Tunnel accident
ÖBB Rail Cargo Group offers an alternative route for rail freight transportation between Italy and Germany impacted by the Gotthard Tunnel accident. The new route will connect the German city of Wuppertal and the Italian city of Verona, which will bypass Switzerland and cross Austria instead. The Gotthard Tunnel is currently undergoing clearance and rescue work after the accident.
RCG says the Verona-Wuppertal service will “create a direct network connection without a stopover for continental flows of goods between northern Italy and the Ruhr region” and could relieve the congestion in the Tyrol area. The service operates on a three-weekly round-trip basis and will transport goods between the Sommacampagna-Sona terminal near Verona and the DUSS terminal in Wuppertal-Langerfeld.
Gotthard Tunnel accident
The Gotthard Tunnel accident occurred on Tuesday, 10 August, when a train derailed inside the tunnel. The accident has received much attention in the European rail freight world as few alternative routes are available for the traffic between Italy and Switzerland. The Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) specified that the accident was caused by an issue with the convoy and not with the infrastructure.
Clearance and rescue works in the western tube of the Gotthard Tunnel are expected to be finished by the end of September. SBB is currently working on removing the impacted wagons and locomotives, with eight railcars remaining in the tunnel waiting to be removed. After completing this task, carried out in parallel with the tunnel’s damage assessment, SBB will be able to commence reconstruction, which is not expected to be finished before 2024.