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22 May 2018 The on-line newspaper devoted to the world of transports 19:47 GMT+2

September 4, 2017

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With the interruption of the Rhine-Alps Corridor - denunciation the ERFA - the European railway logistics endures an immense damage

the economy, the industry, the railroads, the operators and the companies of transport - the association emphasizes - count damages for
Today the European Rail Freight Association (ERFA) has introduced an open letter addressed to the German federal minister to the digital Transports and infrastructures, Alexander Dobrindt, and to the European commissioner to the Transports, Violeta Bulc, in order to denounce the determined damages to the rail shipment and intermodal from the interruption of caused the Rhine-Alps corridor from the yielding of a happened feature of railway line to Rastatt, in Germany.

the association, that goods represents the operators of the rail shipment, has evidenced that the railway line of the valley Rhenish will remain closed in order almost two months and that once reopened, reactivation that second the 7 forecasts will happen next October, the European railway logistics will have an immense damage quickly. The ERFA has remembered that in fact the railway line in the valley Rhenish constitutes the main route of the intermodal traffic in Europe and that approximately 50% of the exchanges between northern Europe and Italy through Switzerland normally is carried out through the intermodal transport on this axis.

"Currently - it has emphasized the association - the railroads that transport goods can only enliven 25% of the normal volumes on the lines alternatives through Germany, France and Austria" and - it has specified the ERFA - "the intermodal transport is particularly behind the eight ball, with a diversion of the traffic of this important segment of market that it turns out pairs at less than 15% of its habitual volume".

the ERFA has denounced the serious consequences of this interruption of the line. "The European system of the railway logistics - it has explained the association - is about to collapse. The terminals of transfer of the intermodal transport along the Rhine-Alps corridor are congested of container and they do not accept ulterior cargo units. In numerous industries to north and south of the Alps - it has still evidenced the ERFA - a deficiency of supplies and the stopped one of productive lines is recorded already, and a great number of productive sites is about to stop the activity. The economy, the industry, the railroads, the operators and the companies of transport count damages for billions. A part of the railway traffic will be lost to advantage of the road and for years it will not be possible to recover it. The objectives of modal change of the EU are in danger. Decades of investments in the railway system will endure damages or will be made useless".

Finding the reasons that they have determined such disaster, the ERFA has observed that "the interruption of Rastatt and the current management of the crisis is a perfect example of that it is mistaken in the European rail shipment of the transports". According to the association, "on important transport corridors goods not there are sufficient lines alternatives that can be easy used in case of emergencies due to interruptions of the traffic". Moreover, for the ERFA, a transnational perspective in the management of the corridors is absent, does not exist an international coordination of the yards on railway infrastructures neither a structure for the international management of the crises in the transport goods on track.

Second the ERFA, in order to avoid the block of the railway system and a permanent loss of the confidence of the market in confronts of the transport on track is necessary to put into effect some measures. The association proposes the institution of a task force to ministerial level and/or of the EU, that it includes the representatives of the managers of railway infrastructures, with competences in case of crisis; the support to the railway enterprises so that in the short term alternatives on hand have the necessary machinists for the transits on the railway lines; the introduction of operating procedures simplified on the lines alternatives with the coordination of the Agency of the European Union for the Railroads (ERA).

Moreover, for the ERFA, is necessary to examine exceptional and temporary measures in order to support the railway societies goods that directly are hit by the interruption of Rastatt and that they face serious problems of survival. At last the association proposes the institution of a special commission that quickly examines causes and effects of what it is the most important and serious block of the railway traffic goods of the last decades to the aim to define emergency plans, to put into effect a planning of the yards and to assign a priority to the traffic flows so that a disaster like that of Rastatt does not happen newly.

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