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Tue Jul 20, 2021, 07:16 AM

Floods close rail lines in Europe for months or longer

Portions of the rail network in Western Europe could be out of service for months or years after massive flooding that has left hundreds dead across a swath of western Germany and Belgium. Rail service has been suspended after the floods that saw rivers running 3 yards higher than previous records in some cases and destroyed homes and businesses.

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In Belgium, most rail lines south of Brussels saw disruption, with many in the hilly Ardennes region seriously damaged. The high-speed rail line connecting Brussels with Cologne in Germany was briefly closed, but as this goes through hills and over valleys, it was not seriously damaged. Services restarted over the weekend. The older rail lines that follow river valleys, often no more than a few yards above the river, fared much less well. Several routes are so badly damaged that reconstruction is expected to take until late August; less damaged routes reopened July 19.

In neighboring Germany, where the scale of destruction and loss of life has been greater, some rail lines, again built following river valleys, have been completely washed out. In total, German national railroad Deutsche Bahn has reported 600 kilometers (more than 370 miles) of tracks and 80 stations are impassable.

The worst affected route along the valley of the river Ahr from Remagen to Ahrbrück has seen around 12.5 miles of its 18-mile length destroyed by flood water, with all seven bridges destroyed where the line crossed from one side of the river to the other. The town of Schuld, which has been seen on TV screens across the world, lies a few miles upstream of Ahrbrück in the same river valley (the rail line in this area closed in 1973); over 110 people were killed by the floods in this region alone. The German government has promised emergency funding for flood damaged areas but has already said it is likely to take years to rebuild the worst damaged areas and their road and rail infrastructure.

https://www.trains.com/trn/news-reviews/news-wire/floods-close-rail-lines-in-europe-for-months-or-longer/

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Reply Floods close rail lines in Europe for months or longer (Original post)
Klaralven Jul 20 OP
no_hypocrisy Jul 20 #1
panader0 Jul 20 #2
Klaralven Jul 20 #3

Response to Klaralven (Original post)

Tue Jul 20, 2021, 07:55 AM

1. I relied on the European rail systems to travel throughout the Continent in 1979.

I was one of those mythical solo backpackers who rode the rails with a Eurail Pass and stayed in hostels. I would have lost 40% of my travels if we had rains at that time.

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Response to Klaralven (Original post)

Tue Jul 20, 2021, 08:14 AM

2. Not good news for our DUer DFW.

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Response to panader0 (Reply #2)

Tue Jul 20, 2021, 08:21 AM

3. High-speed passenger rail is probably back in operation

High-speed rail doesn't follow the riverbeds because the rivers wind back and forth with curves that are too tight for high-speed operation. So they tend to bridge river valleys and take much straighter routes. High-speed trains also have a higher power to weight ratio than freight, so they can climb steeper grades and don't need to follow the more level river valleys.

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