Flooding of railway lines near Bologna costs RFI 90 million

RFI carrying out repairs on the railway after the May flooding in the Emilia-Romagna region RFI

More than 350 people, 60 vehicles and 21 contractors have been deployed by Italian railway manager RFI to restore the damaged infrastructure after flooding that hit the Emilia – Romagna region this month. At the moment, the estimate of the damages is over 90 million euros.

Following months of severe drought, heavy rains hit the Italian region Emilia – Romagna in Northern Italy earlier this month, and combined with a storm on May 16, twenty-three rivers across the region burst their banks, forcing 13,000 people from their homes and resulting in 17 fatalities. Michele De Pascale, the mayor of Ravenna, called the floods the “worst disaster in a century”, labelling the night between 16 and 17 May as the “worst one in the history of Romagna”.

The flooding also had its impact on the railway lines in the region. There are numerous points where the force of the water has eroded the ground and the rubble on which the tracks rested, making it necessary to rebuild it before laying new rails. The data transmission cables for the interface with the circulation systems were also damaged in several places.

Partial reopening after repairs

On Monday 22 May, trains resumed circulation on the Forlì-Rimini and Ravenna – Rimini lines with initial speed reductions, RFI announced. From Tuesday morning, trains between Ferrara and Portomaggiore and between Faenza and Russi also resumed.

RFI said the works of the technical teams continues for the restoration of the infrastructure damaged by the floods. On the Bologna-Rimini railway traffic between Faenza and Forlì remains suspended, and RFI aims to fully reopen the line by June 2nd.

Need for climate change adaptation

Gilberto Pichetto Fratin, the Minister of the Environment, announced that the Italian government would activate the state of calamity for all of the areas damaged by the flooding from 23 May onwards, Italian media report. The minister also previewed the introduction of a national plan of climate change adaptation, acknowledging the significant impact of climate change on the rising frequency of natural disasters in Italy and across the world.

Drone footage of Local Team shows a damaged railway track near Sant’Agata:

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Author: Esther Geerts

Editor RailTech.com

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