Since severe floods damaged large parts of the Wallonian rail network two weeks ago, the North Sea-Mediterranean Corridor through Belgium has been blocked. This line is an important rail freight corridor connecting the ports of Antwerp, Zeebrugge and Ghent with the south of Europe. Latest information from Infrabel, the state-owned rail network operator, shows that this main route will be out of operation until August 9.
Since July 26, an alternative for freight transport between Northern and Southern Europe has become available, with the reopening of the Artère Nord Est line. This connection is part of the north-south corridor in France and offers alternatives for Belgian rail transport between the Flemish seaports and the Mediterranean Sea.
The key Liege-Maastricht line reopened on July 22, eleven days earlier than the scheduled date of August 2. The repair works on the section between Visen and the Dutch border, that suffered the most damage, were carried out faster than planned.
The latest report from Infrabel also noted that the estimate bill for repairing the damaged Belgium rail network could be $70m.