“Half Walloon rail network out of action”

Rail track company Infrabel says half the rail network in Wallonia is out of action. Freight transport is being affected as a result and this is bound to impact on businesses also in Flanders.

Across the network gravel and sleepers need to be replaced.  The cost of repairs is being estimated at 50 million euros. The figure may still rise as the waters subside and fresh damage becomes clear.  In all at least 70,000 tons of fresh gravel will be needed.  Subsidence needs to be tackled over at least ten kilometres.

Rail track company Infrabel believes all lines will be operational once again by 9 August except in Pepinster and Liege where 30 August is the target date. Infrabel CEO Gilson told newsmen that works were underway at dozens of locations and that the situation would impact on Flanders.  The line in Nassogne, where a train derailed, is important for freight transport to and from the port of Antwerp, France and Italy. ArcelorMittal that produces steel in Luxembourg uses the line to transport its products to Antwerp.  If the steel doesn’t reach its destination, other companies too will be affected. 

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