Rhine Valley Railway: Europe’s major railways close ranks

Close cooperation of Germany, Switzerland, Austria and France in the rail freight transport on the North-South corridor

Rhine Valley Railway: Europe’s major railways close ranks

The CEOs of the German, Swiss, Austria and French railways agreed on close cooperation, to minimise the effects of the closure of the Rhine Valley on rail freight transport. After it was announced last week, that service would not be restored before October 7, Deutsche Bahn (DB), Schweizerische Bundesbahnen (SBB), Österreichische Bundesbahnen (ÖBB) and Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer (SNCF) agreed on a comprehensive package of measures.

Apart from the already initiated measures, the four railway companies will together provide additional locomotives and drivers for the corridors via France and Austria. This enables an efficient use of the various deviations, which will be coordinated together with the partner railways.

To make the journey from Germany to Switzerland easier, a shuttle for freight trains between Kornwestheim and Zurich is being tested. Also construction work on potential alternative routes will be shortened or postponed to be able to offer additional capacity and routes for replacement freight service.

With the end of the holiday season, also rail freight traffic is increasing again on the North-South corridor. Adapted measures are required to fully cover the demand in the coming weeks. Through their initiative, the four CEOs want to keep the effects of the closure of the Rhine Valley for the customers of the freight and passenger rail traffic as little as possible.

In addition the four CEOs Dr. Richard Lutz (DB), Andreas Meyer (SBB), Andreas Matthä (ÖBB) and Guillaume Pepy (SNCF) agreed to coordinate their actions on a regular basis. The four CEOs agreed that these challenges can only be tackled together.

Dr. Richard Lutz, CEO DB: „This closing of ranks is a signal for well integrated rail systems, but also for the tight and good partnership of Europe’s major railway companies. Our intensive cooperation across the borders shows our utmost support for the customers in freight transport.“