Deutsche Bahn expects to be able to repair most of the damage before the end of the year. Rail traffic should be able to operate normally again for the most part by then. In places in Rhineland-Palatinate, this may take a little longer.
About 2,000 German railway employees work “around the clock” on repair work. Talks are underway with the federal government about funding for the restoration of the rail network. Deutsche Bahn is also investigating the extent of tort insurance.
The German government is already working on a package of possibly billions of euros to rehabilitate flood-affected areas. It is not yet known how high this amount will be. This is because the extent of the damage has yet to be determined. The flood disaster has killed at least 170 people in Germany, including five firefighters.
The consequences of railways in the Netherlands are smaller
The consequences of the floods on the railways of the Netherlands were much less. ProRail, which operates the railways, estimates the damage to be more than €500,000. These include the costs of replacing electrical parts for a section of a flooded track in Igden.
“The main focus of the inconvenience was really in Belgium and Germany,” a ProRail spokesperson said. “This does not change the fact that it is very disturbing for the residents who have been water damaged. We sympathize with them very much.”
When replacing rail components, ProRail now takes into account extreme weather conditions, which are likely to occur more frequently in the future due to climate change. For example, a railroad manager is already working on deeper or wider trenches along the rails to absorb more rain.
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