Germany: Route Severely Damaged by Floods Reopens Today

In order to fix the route between Remagen and Ahrweiler, Deutsche Bahn had to lay 4,200 tons of gravel and 7,800 tons of ballast. Five kilometres of cables, one kilometre of track, 1,500 new sleepers and two new railway crossings needed to be replaced. Currently trains are only running on one of the tracks – the repair of the second track will still take some time. There is also currently no stop at Heimersheim.

The first section of the Ahr Valley Railway between Remagen and Ahrweiler is open again
The first section of the Ahr Valley Railway is open again following severe flooding damage in July

© Deutsche Bahn | Dominic Dupont

The next section of the Ahr Valley Railway will start carrying passengers again when the new timetable comes into effect on 12 December. At this point there will be passenger traffic between Ahrweiler and Walporzheim again.

The works on the remaining Ahr Valley Railway, between Walporzheim and Ahrbrück, will take substantially longer. The damage here is particularly severe: Deutsche Bahn must replace eight bridges and almost all support structures. It must also lay new tracks. In addition, DB has to repair seven level crossings and the destroyed signal boxes in Dernau and Kreuzberg. The electronic signalling centre for the Ahr Valley Railway, which is under construction, is being redesigned from the ground up.

Alongside this planning has got under way for the complete overhaul of the railway infrastructure and for the potential electrification of the line. Deutsche Bahn says it cannot yet give estimates as to when this line as well as the lines between Euskirchen-Bad Münstereifel and Rheinbach-Euskirchen will open again.