ERFA, NEE and UIRR call DB Netz to account

The three sector associations see the Rastatt disruption as a symbol of a still incomplete European inland rail freight market

ERFA, NEE and UIRR call DB Netz to account

The seven-week interruption of the Rhine Valley freight route caused by the DB Netz incident in Rastatt has made 2017 a black year for European rail freight, both operationally and financially. The lack of contingency plans and incompatible, underperforming re-routing options caused significant damage to the whole value chain of rail freight transportation as well as to the industries that have entrusted their volumes to the ecologically sustainable rail system.

In a joint letter the sector associations ERFA, NEE und UIRR request DB Netz to take full liability for the damages in the freight sector and to propose a clear, fair and easy structured financial settlement of the Rastatt incident within a short time. “The freight sector expects a major contribution by DB Netz to rebuild the lost trust and to support the extra efforts in convincing customers that rail is still a reliable partner in the supply chain,” reads the letter.

Resulting from the Rastatt disruption, railway companies were forced to refuse transport orders from their customers and incurred extremely high costs to perform less than half of their normal volume. Intermodal operators, terminals and transport companies were faced with the same problems. The end customers widely appreciated the efforts of the railway undertakings under these difficult conditions, but nonetheless suffered severe consequences.

“DB Netz has a clear responsibility and liability towards the railway companies and their customers,” is the clear statement by the sector associations ERFA, NEE and UIRR.;;