Abstract: Climate change is related with weather extremes, which may cause damages to infrastructure used by freight transport services. Heavy rainfall may lead to flooding and damage to railway lines, roads and inland waterways. Extreme drought may lead to extremely low water levels, which prevent safe navigation by inland barges. Wet and dry periods may alternate, leaving little time to repair damages. In some Western and Middle-European countries, barges have a large share in freight transport. If a main waterway is out of service, then alternatives are called for. Volume- and price-wise, trucking is not a viable alternative. Could railways be that alternative? The paper was written after the unusually long dry summer period in Europe in 2022. It deals with the question: If the Rhine, a major European waterway becomes locally inaccessible, could railways (temporarily) play a larger role in freight transport? It is a continuation of our earlier research. It contains a case study, the data of which was fed into a simulation model. The model deals with technical details like service specification route length, energy consumption and emissions. The study points to interesting rail services to keep Europe’s freight on the move. Their realization may be complex especially in terms of logistics and infrastructure, but is there an alternative?
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|Published in||International Journal of Transport Development and Integration|
|Year and volume||7 2|
|Key words||climate change, resilience, rail freight, barges, international, modelling|
|Digital Object Identifier||10.18280/ijtdi.070210|