EuropePorts and Logistics

Disruption caused by flooding to European railway networks

Railway operators and transport companies have released further information on the extent of system disruptions following the flooding events last week in Germany and Belgium.

The North Sea Mediterranean corridor has been disrupted. Infrabel published an overview of the affected railway lines, many of which are part of the corridor which connects France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and ultimately the UK.

There has been disruption to traffic of lines in part of the Rhine Alpine corridor, which connects the port of Rotterdam with Genoa in Italy. These lines mostly run though Wallonia, where the rainfall was severe.

The Belgian province of Liège was particularly hard hit by the floods with many railway lines under water or blocked by mudslides. As alternative routes do not have sufficient capacity there will be significant delays to rail services.

METRANS also announced that there was a landslide on the line between Děčín and Bad Schandau on the corridor from the Czech Republic to northern European ports including Hamburg, Bremerhaven and Rotterdam and that rail traffic was suspended. The extent of the damage is still being evaluated.

Germany’s Thyssenkrupp Steel declared force majeure to customers on July 16, saying it was unable to deliver pre-material between its sites with steel deliveries to customers also disrupted because of damage to the rail network. Other steel mills have followed suit.

Repairs to the damaged rail infrastructure is expected to take several weeks.

Andrew Cox

During the 1990s, Dr Andrew Cox was the editor of UK Coal Review and was a regular writer and commentator on the international coal trade and related infrastructure developments. Post-2000, he has been a freelance writer, CPD trainer and project consultant. He focuses on developments in the energy, chemicals, shipping and port sectors.
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