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WARNING to rail passengers BASEL-FREIBURG-BADEN BADEN-KARLSRUHE- FRANKFURT

The Rhein valley railway is currently closed (actually collapsed into a large hole). There are no trains running in the section north of Baden-Baden to Rastatt. Buses are covering the gap. No ICE trains seem to be going south of Frankfurt. Between Basel and Baden Baden fast trains seem to be running to plan although ICE are replaced by older types. Replacement trains are covering Rastatt- Frankfurt. Because of the need to change twice and use the bus journeys may take up to 2 hours longer.

DB say this situation will continue for "one to two weeks" but won't commit to anyting more specific.

Anyone with plans to travel on this route during August should recheck schedules at https://www.bahn.com/en/view/index.shtml and do so again as you get closer to travel date.

Posted by
19277 posts

Here is the google translate version of the text on the DB site:

ICE 202: Baden-Baden-> Karlsruhe Hbf: Disruption Unfortunately, the route between Baden-Baden and Rastatt is completely blocked. The route Offenburg to Karlsruhe is not passable. The trains end and begin in Karlsruhe Hbf. Shuttle traffic from Basel, Freiburg Hbf and Offenburg Hbf to Baden-Baden furnished. There is a replacement bus service to Rastatt. Between Rastatt and Karlsruhe Hbf, there are local connections. Please check your travel arrangements shortly before departure of the train. The blocking is expected until 19:08 23:59. (Last update 1:30 PM)

Posted by
631 posts

I've also just noticed that they have not actually set up the amended schedules beyond today, if you check anything it gives the normal plan with a warning as above but no info about amended times. But they have suspended sales of the cheap Sparpreis tickets. They also say existing tickets will be accepted by alternative routes - but as far as I can see there isn't one!

Posted by
631 posts

there would be two problems with that diversion. If you were already in the Basel area it would take longer than using the bus. And if you over the Zurich side SBB have said nothing about permitting diversions.

Apparently this is caused by tunnel builders below the railway. In the meantime, a german TV news report which shows the queues for the bus.....

https://www.swr.de/swraktuell/bw/bahnstrecke-bei-rastatt-gesperrt/-/id=1622/did=20087434/nid=1622/1s7nbwh/index.html

Posted by
19022 posts

Between Offenburg and Karlsruhe, you can take an SWE (RB) to Freudenstadt Hbf via Gengenbach and Hausach then a Stadtbahn (S) to Karlsruhe via Freudenstadt Stadtbahnhof and Rastatt. Very scenic but unfortunately many Germans will know this route and it will be crowded. Also, it takes almost three hours. Might be faster to wait for the SEV (bus).

Posted by
2260 posts

Might be faster to wait for the SEV (bus).

Sure. In the meantime, there has been set up a shuttle bus service running every six minutes between Rastatt and Baden-Baden. Overall travel time between Basel and Karlsruhe is approx. one hour longer. Therefore I do not expect that the interruption of the main line will push up passenger frequencies on the Schwarzwaldbahn.

BTW, the interruption is also affecting the high speed trains from Paris via Strasbourg to Stuttgart and Munich, which will be redirected via Metz and Mannheim.

Posted by
6 posts

Oof. We're going from Frankfurt to Gengenbach on 8/23 (tickets not purchased yet) and Gengenbach to Bingen on 8/26 (have tickets). Looks like we'll need to pack extra patience.

Posted by
631 posts

ÖBB say the Nightjet to Berlin/ Hamburg is cancelled throughout. Obviously they don't say it in a clear and easily found way (see other discussion about Nightjet and ÖBB management), you have to go though the website and find their interactive map with latest travel advice. This note may have been specific to Sunday night/ Monday morning (isn't clear) but so far that's all they have said directly.

Diverting via Arlberg would be a mammoth task and would miss out Frankfurt, but presumably DB-Netz will be paying compensation to them so they won't be bothered.

Posted by
2260 posts

Looks like we'll need to pack extra patience.

DB says on it's German web site that there are delays of approx. one hour. So, it's an inconvenience but not a catastrophe. If you arrive over one hour later you can claim a refund of 25% of the ticket price (50% if delayed more than two hours).

Posted by
631 posts

it does seem the original delays have come down from what was advised when it first happened, they were probably struggling to get enough buses in at first.

Posted by
19277 posts

It appears that DB is building the Rastatter Tunnel under the town so that high speed trains and freights don't have to slow down for the tight turns going through Rastatt. Noise for residents is a also a factor in this project. Looks like a construction boo-boo. As the construction signs here say, "Temporary Inconvenience, Permanent Improvement".

Posted by
2260 posts

It appears that DB is building the Rastatter Tunnel under the town

This. The problem hase been caused by DB itself. They are trying to build a tunnel under an active rail line. The claim was that by employing a new method (freezing the soil somehow) the distance between the vertex of the tunnel under construction and the active rail above could be kept to a minimum of 5 meters. The claim appears to have been a bit overoptimistic. The whole thing remembers me of the construction of the Nürnberg - Munich ICE line, where against the advice of geologists tunnels were cut into the porous Franconian Jura with the effect that workers upon their return to work after a weekend found the bottom of two tunnels sunk by up to 5 meters. That contributed to pushing up the calculated costs of the line from 3.5 to 7.4 mrd. DM.

Posted by
631 posts

would now be a bad time to Google "Kölner Stadtarchiv" ???

Posted by
8889 posts

UPDATE - could take longer to fix than originally hoped

The DB website gives more detail in its original German version than on the English-language page: https://www.bahn.de/p/view/home/info/sonderkommunikation-rastatt.shtml?dbkanal_007=L01_S01_D001_KIN0001_blitzbox-rastatt-2017-08-13_LZ01
This page no longer quotes 26th August as a hoped-for date to re-open the line, no date is given.

A newspaper article ( https://bazonline.ch/schweiz/transportchaos-wegen-deutschland/story/18399414 ) is saying:
"Denn gestern sickerte vonseiten der DB Netz AG durch, es sei ungewiss, bis wann der Streckenunterbruch repariert sei. Vorsichtig heisst es, «vor 26. August» werde dies nicht der Fall sein."
= Yesterday DB was saying it is uncertain when the line would be repaired. Tentatively it was "by 26th August", but that is no longer the case.

The article also says the impact is worse for freight than for passengers, as this is the main freight route to Switzerland and Italy, and there is not the capacity on other routes.

Posted by
2260 posts

According to the press office of the DB, the Rhine valley route will be reopened on October 2nd.

Posted by
631 posts

Good, I'm booked over it on October 18th.

They seem to be taking PR lessons from Network Rail in Britain, set a date way forward then congratulate themselves for reopening early when the work is finished - whilst quietly ignoring the fact that they caused the problem in the first palce

Posted by
2260 posts

The real great moment of DB's PR department will come after the collapse of the
western tube. ;)