The railway line between Rastatt and Baden-Baden in Germany has been closed for the past two weeks. The blockage had a major impact on the entire transport industry, and on the north–south corridor in particular, and pushed many a logistician to his limits. This was particularly noticeable in Basel, our home town and a key transport node. Forwarders were greatly put out by the extra efforts required and desperately sought alternative routes and transport solutions.
Criticism of the German state railway Deutsche Bahn is growing in both Switzerland and Germany. Forwarders’ annoyance is understandable. Whilst passenger services were quickly reorganised, the solutions offered to railfreight operators seemed unsatisfactory. Once the route becomes useable again it will still take a long time to clear the freight backlog.
We can but hope that the incident has caused the railtrack operators to rethink their approach. Goods transport also needs a plan B if and when the next interruption happens. There must be an alternative ready for when key railway lines are down.