Rastatt incident: way forward

Following the Rastatt incident, the meeting of experts organised by the Commission Directorate General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE) and chaired by Deputy Director General Matthew Baldwin agreed on the way forward. The Commission will organise a dedicated group of the Platform of Rail Infrastructure managers (PRIME) and the Railway Undertakings’ Dialogue early 2018 with the sole remit of developing a best practice template for contingency plans. This should include procedures to facilitate coordination between infrastructure managers and timely information of railway undertakings. The group will also include experts of Rail Freight Corridors, intermodal operators, and ESC.

During the meeting, the Commission argued that the European Rail Freight corridor Rhine Alpine is the most used rail freight corridor in all nine corridors. The Commission is aware that its blockage has dramatic consequences for freight traffic. There is a real urgency for the modal shift and decarbonisation objectives to be achieved. Furthermore, DG MOVE is concerned about the impact of the Rastatt blockage on the economy along the Rhine-Alpine corridor, on the modal share of the rail freight and on the viability of railway undertakings operating on that corridor.

In her response to the letter of the European rail logistics representatives, the Commissioner Violeta Bulc shared their concern about the long-term effects of the disruption and strongly supported the idea to draw all the necessary lessons from the incident to be better prepared in the future. If you wish to receive a full document, the letter from Commissioner Bulc, please contact Katsiaryna Kliuyeva at k.kliuyeva@europeanshippers.eu.