Rhine-Alpine News

Rotterdam: Rail Tunnel Repaired

Work on Willemsspoortunnel (Photo: prorail)

The Rotterdam Willemsspoortunnel of the main line to Breda and on to Brussels is now almost thirty years old. In the past months, one of the tracks was thoroughly renovated. The tunnel now is open to traffic without restrictions. However, in the coming years the remaining track will also need upgrading. Read more about this here (external link, Dutch language).

SBB: Impact of Covid-19 on Passenger Transport

(c) SBB CFF FFS, see links below for French and Italian versions

Swiss rail operator SBB has published figures about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on passenger volume in 2020. For long distance traffic, comparison with 2019 shows a decrease of up to 80% in spring and quite some recovery during summer. Towards the end of 2020, figures stand at roughly 50% of 2019. In regional transport, the decrease was a little less; towards the end of 2019 figures stood at about 60% of 2019.

SBB is the largest rail operator in Switzerland. Its figures therefore represent the situation in Switzerland as a whole. They may also give a good order of magnitude for the situation in other segments of the Rhine-Alpine corridor.

Find the whole news here in German, French and Italian language (external links).

DB Punctuality in 2020 Much Better Than in Previous Years

Photo: Deutsche Bahn

Punctuality of German rail operator Deutsche Bahn’s trains sharply improved in 2020, compared to previous years. In long distance traffic, the share of trains running on time grew from 75.9 in 2019 to 81.8 %, a level not reached in any of the previous 15 years. Deutsche Bahn by its own standards lists an arrival as punctual if it is less than six minutes behind schedule.

Less crowded platforms and fewer trains due to Covid-19 are one main reason for this development. However, in 2020 DB could finally put a significant number of new trains into service, allowing for better maintenance and more backup units.

While these figures represent the passenger service only, some of the underlying reasons (less congestion, less interference from other delayed trains) make it appear plausible that freight traffic also was more on time in 2020 than in previous years.

Find the whole news here (external link, German language).