Restored section of the Eifel Line in Germany

Deutsche Bahn reopens railway section damaged in 2021 flooding

Electrification of the restored Eifel Line is planned for 2026. DB Netz

Deutsche Bahn (DB) will reopen a section of the Eifel line in the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate on Monday, where in the summer of 2021 massive flooding wreaked havoc on the regional rail infrastructure. DB carried out an inaugural journey earlier on Thursday.

A 24-kilometre section between Kyllburg and Gerolstein will be reopened with one regional train every hour in each direction. New tracks were installed, as well as many kilometres of new cables for signalling and other technology. Six new interlockings were also built.

Thursday’s test drive was carried out in a VT 620 series train that suffered equal damage in the 2021 flooding. DB and manufacturer Alstom had to repair or replace the engine, brakes, bogies, wheel sets gearboxes, heaters and couplings. Another six damaged train sets from the same series are currently being revamped for future service on the route. This also includes an overhaul of the trains’ interiors.

Map of the Eifel Line railway in Germany

The section between Kyllburg and Gerolstein is part of the 150-year-old Eifel line, many parts of which were washed away in the 2021 flooding. The part between Trier-Ehrang to Auw an der Kyll was put back in operation in February 2022, the section between Auw an der Kyll and Kyllburg was reopened four months later. The entire Eifel line should be accessible again by the end of this year. Full electrification of the railway, a project that was set in motion in tandem with the restoration, is scheduled for completion in 2026.

“We have achieved two important milestones after the flood disaster: We are opening another restored section of track – and with the first multiple unit that we repaired after it was completely destroyed by the flood. For the people here in the Eifel, this means another piece of normality and quality of life”, Evelyn Palla, board member for regional transport at DB, said of the resumption of services.

“With the reopening of the Eifel route from Trier to Gerolstein, it is clearly visible that the reconstruction after the flood disaster in the Ahr Valley and the West Eifel is progressing”, Prime Minister of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate Malu Dreyer added. “By late autumn at the latest, the route should be completely restored to Cologne, including the new electronic interlocking technology. And we don’t just rebuild unchanged. We are also mobilising large amounts of state funds for the electrification of the Eifel route”.

The 2021 storms and the subsequent flooding in the federal states of Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia necessitated the reconstruction of 600 kilometres of railways, 180 level crossings and 100 stations. Belgian rail infrastructure was also heavily impacted, as well as tracks in the southern Dutch province of Limburg.

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Author: Nick Augusteijn

Chief Editor,

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