As a result of a landslide in Germany in mid-August, the railway line between Karlsruhe and Basel has been closed. As the line is an important north-south corridor carrying containers between the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Italy, the closure has been causing a lot of disruption to the supply chains using this route. Shippers have been faced with a lot of delays, cost increase for alternative modes of transport including road and inland shipping, and uncertainty and a lack of communication from the operators active on this route. Moreover, the availability of alternative routes has been quite limited due to the maintenance works on other parts of the rail network.
The governing body of the Rail Freight Corridor (RFC) Rhine-Alpine has announced that the service should be restored by 7 October 2017. Amongst the measures introduced by Deutsche Bahn (DB) Netz is an alternative route for freight trains – the Neckar-Alb Railway (Horb–Tübingen–Reutlingen–Plochingen). Construction work on potential alternative routes is now shortened or postponed to be able to offer additional capacity and replacement routes for freight service. DB Netz AG and DB Cargo have announced that they are maintaining close contact with their customers to provide more tailor-made solutions when possible. To follow the recent developments and get an overview of available alternative routes, please consult https://www.corridor-rhine-alpine.eu/home.html.