Unkel. The railway line was re-opened on Monday after a major fire on a goods train in Unkel. There is also positive news for local residents.
The railway line on the right side of the Rhine between Koblenz and Cologne was reopened on Monday morning after the fire on three goods wagons in Unkel. A spokesperson for Deutsche Bahn said on Sunday that work on the tracks was expected to continue until Sunday evening. The repair of the overhead lines had already been completed. The trains should be able to run again during the morning. The RE 8 and RB 28 have been affected so far. Commuters should still check online during Monday.
All trains will continue to be diverted to the opposite side of the Rhine until all repairs are completed. The spokesperson said there were no partial cancellations or delays on Sunday. Buses and taxis were running between Linz am Rhein in Rhineland Palatinate and Rhöndorf station.
The railway spokesperson also advised that there were planned construction works on the section between Troisdorf and Bonn-Beuel and trains were therefore terminating in Beuel. Traffic would therefore terminate in Beuel even after the end of the works in Unkel and continue using alternative transport. The three goods wagons containing spray cans and cosmetic articles went up in flames during Wednesday night.
Railway employees talk to residents
A fourth wagon from a private railway was also damaged. The fire brigade turned up in force. Around 60 residents had to leave their houses until the morning as a precaution. The cause of the accident and cost of the damage were unclear at present. The federal police suspected on Thursday that locked brakes were the cause. According to Deutsche Bahn, the tracks on the right side of the Rhine are part of Europe’s busiest freight train line between Genoa and Rotterdam.
The Deutsche Bahn press office said Deutsche Bahn employees would be on site in Unkel from Monday 11 February to record damage suffered by local residents. Further liability issues can only be clarified once the cause of the damage has finally been determined. The town’s mayor, Gerhard Hausen, and residents had previously criticised Deutsche Bahn’s information policy.
(Original text: Elena Sebening (with information from the DPA) / Translation: kc)