November: Construction and repair along rails in Germany
This month, German railways face a significant number of temporary restrictions, caused by construction and repair. Along the Rhine-Alpine corridor, this will mainly be along the Upper Rhine between Karlsruhe and Basel. Several long distance passenger trains will be canceled, and the line will close down completely between Offenburg and Freiburg on the weekend 14 and 15 of November. Furthermore, the line between Aachen and Cologne will be closed for a week from 14 November, due to bridge construction. A regional bypass is available.
The online planning and booking tools automatically take into account the temporarily adjusted schedules. Read more details here (external link, German language).
Rotterdam rail accident: A tale of a whale’s tail
News reported what perhaps is one of the strangest rail accident ever. It happened on a Rotterdam Metro line, which is geographically within the Rhine-Alpine corridor, but is without connection to long distance traffic. At the end of the line, an empty Metro train overran a bumper, ten meters above a canal. It was saved from crashing down by a giant sculpture of a whale’s tail, and it somewhat miraculously ended on top of it. No people were hurt. Pictures of the accident went around the world.
A railway engineer explains the physics behind the accident in this article (external link). Although partly in rather common language, it gets deeper into the matter than the average news article.
Plans for a new TEE network backed by rail corridor initiatives
From its introduction in 1957, the “Trans Europ Express” (TEE) network for decades was the icon of international high-end travel as well as of European integration. The system of first-class long distance trains later declined with the advent of air travel. National schedules made the integration of occasional long distance trains challenging. As a result, the TEE system folded down during the 1980’s.
Lately, the German Federal Ministry of Transport has published a feasibility study which strongly supports the re-introduction of the TEE as a system of truly international high-end trains for longer distances across Europe. In a joint letter, three leading associations of public and semi-public infrastructure institutions along the corridor have offered their support the German Minister of Transport, Andreas Scheuer. The Interregional Alliance for the Rhine-Alpine Corridor EGTC, the Main Line for Europe Initiative, and the Trans Europe TGV Rhin-Rhône-Méditerranée Association jointly state:
“We believe we have a shared interest in the successful development and deployment of the Trans Europe Express 2.0 concept and we would therefore offer our full collaboration to bring the initiative to fruition. Our teams are available to discuss the different ways we can work with you to that end.”
Rhine-Alpine Talks on “Smart Mobility in Passenger Transport“
The “Rhine-Alpine Talks” #4 are ready to start on 6 November 2020, from 11:00 – 12:30 h and will deal with the topic: “Smart Mobility in Passenger Transport“. Our invited speakers represent policy makers as well as smart mobility experts from practice. For instance, MEP Vera Tax will speak on Smart and Sustainable Mobility from a European Perspective, whereas experts from Germany and Italy will give us insights in pioneer mobility as a service solutions. Please check the updated agenda, become part of the corridor community and register here for this meeting.