Critical Swiss-German rail route back to normal
Commuters using a busy stretch of railway between the Swiss city of Basel and Karlsruhe in Germany will be relieved to learn that services will return to normal on Monday following long-running repairs to a German tunnel.
The Rheintal (Rhine Valley) rail section is a critical south-north route in Europe, used particularly by freight trains as well as commuters. Trains have been subject to delays of up to an hour and a half between Basel and Karlsruhe as commuters have to endure slower replacement services.
The route has been severely restricted since August 12 when part of the Rastatt tunnel in southern Germany caved in during maintenance work. This closed down the section between Baden-Baden and Rastatt.
Every day for the last 12 weeks, some 30,000 commuters have been forced to take buses or replacement trains to get them around the problem.
German Railways have at last reported good news as normal service will be resumed on October 2, four days ahead of the last estimated resumption.
This is because the railway operator has reinforced construction teams that have been working around the clock to fix the problem.
Every day, some 70long-distance trains plus 50 regional passenger services and around 200 freight trains use the Rheintal route.