«Rolling highway» increases capacity at short notice
Trans-alpine rail freight traffic through Switzerland continues to be majorly impacted by the closure of the line in Germany between Offenburg and Karlsruhe, which is forecast to remain in place until 7 October 2017. In response, the rolling highway serving trans-alpine freight traffic is increasing its capacity. Commencing Monday, 28 August 2017, RAlpin AG, the company operating the rolling highway service between Freiburg im Breisgau (D) and Novara (I), is putting on an extra 34 trains a week. It means logistics and haulage companies will be able to benefit from a fast and convenient alternative for transporting their freight between Germany and Italy.
The railway line at Rastatt (D) remains closed. The situation is not expected to improve before October 2017. While passenger traffic is experiencing a degree of inconvenience, in terms of freight traffic the blockage is having a major economic impact on logistics and haulage companies. Wishing to offer customers an efficient alternative to road freight, RAlpin AG, operator of the rolling highway, is responding to the delayed reopening of the line by immediately increasing its capacity on the north-south rail axis from 90 to 124 trains a week.
Because the rolling highway’s transshipment terminal in Freiburg im Breisgau is south of Rastatt, the service is unaffected by the closure of the line: customers can continue to transfer their heavy goods vehicles to rail. This avoids the time-consuming drive through the Swiss Alps, and the drivers can rest during the trip. “Because repairs to the line are taking longer than expected, in partnership with rail companies BLS Cargo and SBB Cargo International we are offering an extra 34 trains a week,” says René Dancet, CEO of RAlpin AG. “This corresponds to some 1000 heavy goods vehicles travelling by rail through Switzerland instead of by road.” While the additional capacity is primarily intended to help customers overcome the bottleneck, it also serves to transfer more heavy goods vehicles from Switzerland’s roads to rail, which is very much in line with the country’s transport policy.
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