The Berlin-Hanover rail line will remain closed until at least the end of November. Thursday’s collision between two freight trains caused damage to overhead lines. In addition, the area is not yet clear of gases escaping from damaged tank cars.
Thursday morning, a freight train, which had stopped at a railway signal near Gifhorn, was rammed from behind by another which did not stop. The second train was carrying 25 cars loaded with propane gas, which began to leak after the collision and subsequent derailment.
Deutsche Bahn initially said the busy railway line would be closed until at least Tuesday, but it reassessed the time needed for repairs over the weekend. “Due to a line closure, there will be delays and cancellations between Berlin and Hanover until at least Sunday, November 27, 2022,” he wrote on Sunday evening.
Too much gas in the air
The reason for this is an increased concentration of gases in the air, reports the NDR news site. Saturday evening, the emergency services had to interrupt their work because of this. They had relied on the wind to evaporate the gas, but the wind was not as strong as expected. This could result in an explosive and dangerous air-gas mixture, the local news site reports citing emergency sources.
The repair of the catenaries cannot therefore start as soon as planned. The four tank cars filled with propane gas, as well as an empty car and a locomotive also remain on the track. These problems can only be solved after gas diffusion.
Many long-distance trains are currently being diverted. The busy line mainly facilitates passenger traffic, but freight trains also run on the route. Freight trains will be diverted via Uelzen until further notice. Delays and cancellations are to be expected.
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Collision: the Berlin-Hanover line closed at least until the end of the weekend