The railway line from Rotterdam via Duisburg to Basle and Milan, which is crucial for international rail freight transport, was closed for the long-term on 12 August 2017 because of subsidence during works in South-West Germany. The usual diversion routes in Germany are also out of service because of works on the line and are thus unusable.
These obstructions have resulted in international rail transport on the important Rhine Alpine European rail corridor coming to a standstill. Hundreds of cargo trains have been effected over the past few days. Rail freight transport and the entire supply chain of producers, transporters, companies and consumers is suffering considerable losses because of this.
Freight transporters, intermodal operators and the Port of Rotterdam are extremely concerned about safeguarding good and competitive rail accessibility to the European hinterland for mainport Rotterdam and the Netherlands. Long-term closure is not an option. All the more so as significant availability problems were experienced earlier this year on hinterland connections in the Netherlands (Moerdijkbrug and Calandbrug) and in Northern Italy (Luino).
We are asking the German rail network manager DB Netze and Rhine Alpine Rail Freight Corridor to implement a rapid and efficient emergency plan, and to inform parties.
This significant obstruction in the aorta of European rail freight transport demands fundamental improvements to both the international coordination of engineering works on the line as well as the availability and quality of emergency plans. The European Rail Freight Corridors will be called on to address this and to elaborate how this will be safeguarded in the future.
Rail freight transport is essential in connecting Dutch ports, terminals, trade and industry with the hinterland and for the greening of freight transport. A high-availability and reliable European rail network is required for this. Rapid and effective intervention by rail network managers is essential for the future and to safeguard the reliable reputation of cross-border rail transport.
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