Lineas will run 14 additional weekly Xpress services along the Rhine Valley and increase capacity to the Mannheim area. These trains will run throughout the summer months.

Swiss Xpress services will be stepped up from five up to eight round trips per week. Austria/Slovakia Xpress services will be doubled to operate up to six round trips per week, with regular extensions to Hungary. Lineas will also add capacity for up to three round trips per week to Karlsruhe, Mannheim, and Stuttgart.

The trains will connect western Germany with Lineas’ three major hubs in Antwerp, Rotterdam and the Ruhr, where onward connections are available to the rest of Europe via Lineas’ Green Xpress network.

Lineas says that low water levels in the Rhine in 2018 prevented barge transport for several weeks, causing a 0.7% drop in the Germany’s GDP that year. “Current spring water levels in the Rhine are at the lowest level in five years,” Lineas says. “To prevent a similar situation from happening again this summer, Lineas has set up a back-up solution.”

“Seeing the continuous drop of the water level, Lineas has pro-actively scheduled additional connections to ensure that traffic can keep flowing,” says Mr Lars Redeligx, CCO with Lineas. “We will offer our customers high frequency and flexible capacity access without the need to book entire block trains. We are also in close contact with barge operators to serve the needs of the market. Multimodal solutions can keep goods flowing in Europe, no matter the weather.”