Since the reopening of Rastatt line, railway stakeholders have been working on contingency plans to avoid this level of disruptions happening in future. New improvements concern a better management and redirection of freight traffic and will be adopted in 2019.
Better-defined processes and procedures in coordinating international cooperation will improve the management of the available international re-routing capacity; transparent rules will avoid ambiguity and discrimination in allocating capacity on disrupted lines; and English will be the main language of communication between infrastructure managers and railway undertakings during international disruptions.
On 12 August 2017, the collapse of the new Rastatt tunnel in Germany caused a 7-week closure of the railway line between Karslruhe and Basel. The incident showed the inadequate coordination of operations and railway construction projects, inability to cooperate to find alternative routes, and in general, a low resilience of rail freight. ESC is confident that the new improvements is a good starting point to provide a better coordinated response to disasters of this type.
For more information about the positive steps taken to advance rail freight’s resilience, please see here.