The economic impact of Rastatt

The economic impact of Rastatt

ERFA, NEE and UIRR jointly published a study realised by HTC (Hanseatic Transport Consultancy) which evaluates the economic damage of the Rastatt interruption.
The assessment of the economic damage has been made by determining the value-added losses for the manufacturing and service sectors: the result shows losses of at least 2.048 billion euro.

Only 33 per cent of the scheduled freight traffic was able to operate in a line which could have hosted during the same period 8,262 trains under normal conditions.
Beyond the economic losses caused to rail freight stakeholders and their customers, considerable damages were also in terms of modal shift, loss in traffic and reliability of the entire rail freight sector.


  • Ralf-Charley Schultze, President of UIRR, highlighted that the confidence of the market players in rail freight and Combined Transport can only be restored by adopting adequate European-level contingency management procedures, which must include a financial instrument to immediately assist stakeholders with the extra costs of impact-mitigation measures.  The operators of rail freight transport chains are not capitalised to underwrite these kinds of expenses over a prolonged period.


  • Carole Coune, Acting Secretary General of ERFA pointed out that European freight railway undertakings were operationally and financially heavily harmed and are not able to bear these types of losses.  ERFA urges that compensation claims are resolved and paid quickly.  The focus can then be on ensuring that any future incidents do not have the same consequences or impact on competitiveness towards road. The development of contingency plans and improved performance by Infrastructure Managers, with a focus on cross-border movements must be the positive outcome arising from this hugely disruptive incident and is a top priority for ERFA.


  • Peter Westenberger, Managing Director of NEE, warned against dismissing Rastatt too quickly. The draft of the handbook so far is a list of correct but incomplete proposals. It is still not clear, whether the national infrastructure managers really put this into practice or not. Important demands of the rail logistics sector are not included, particularly the cross-border coordination of construction work in the networks, compensation costs in case of diversions and the development and extension of parallel routes so that rail traffic can continue to run in the event of an accident or construction works. Every single day of standstill during the Rastatt incident caused damages of around 40 million euros throughout Europe. Therefore, it must be clear that a comparable incident as Rastatt shall never happen again!


Below the press release, the management summary and the study.

Linked documents

HTC's study on the economic impact of Rastatt ( 2018_April Studie-1524476846.pdf )

Press release on the economic impact of Rastatt ( 2018_04_19_ERFA.NEE.UIRR_press.release_Rastatt-study_17.04.2018_FINAL(1)-1524477130.pdf )

Management summary HTC study ( Rastatt-HTC-study_Management-summary-EN-1524485721.pdf )