Feature, Freight News, Rail

Updated: Swisstrain finds alternative as vital route is cut

[ August 18, 2017   //   ]

Rail freight operator Swisstrain has put a contingency plan into operation after an engineering mishap cut a vital north-south rail line.

On 12 August the trackbed between Rastatt and Baden-Baden subsided during construction of a new tunnel, cutting an important route between northern European sea ports and southern Germany, Switzerland and Italy until further notice. This has caused massive disruption and brought rail traffic to a standstill, says Swisstrain.

Freight transporters, intermodal operators and ports are extremely concerned and have urged the German rail operator DB Netz to work out a contingency plan immediately.

While the line had been expected to reopen on 26 August, further subsidence has occurred – and, to make matters worse, normal diversion routes in Germany are also out of service because of programmed engineering work.

Swisstrain has gained permission from German rail infrastructure operator DB Netz to operate trains via Singen and Stuttgart instead until further notice. The length of the train is limited to 550 m on the diversion route.

Container transport by barge to Basel is also possible and bookings can be made with Swisstrain directly.