Lineas increases capacity to help customers stay on track during low water in the rhine

03 June 2020


As the water levels in the river Rhine are alarmingly low, Lineas – the largest private rail freight operator in Europe – is increasing its offer on key trains along the Rhine. From 15th June throughout the summer, fourteen weekly Xpress services and additional capacity to the Mannheim region will facilitate the shift from barge to rail and ensure the continuity of supply chains.

In 2018, the low water levels in the Rhine prevented barge transport for several weeks. The impact was significant, causing 0.7% drop in the Germany’s GDP that year[1]. Current spring water levels in the Rhine are at the lowest level in five years. To prevent a similar situation from happening again this summer, Lineas has set up a back-up solution.


Lars Redeligx, CCO at Lineas: “Seeing the continuous drop of the water level, Lineas has pro-actively scheduled additional connections to ensure that transports can keep flowing. With up to fourteen weekly Xpress trains along the Rhine and additional capacity to the Mannheim region, we offer our customers high frequency and flexible capacity access without the need to book entire block trains.”

“We are also in close contact with barge operators to serve the needs of the market. Multimodal solutions can keep goods flowing in Europe, no matter the weather.

More Xpress services and capacity to Mannheim to ensure supply chain continuity

From 15th June throughout the summer months, Lineas is significantly increasing the frequency on key traffics, including additional capacity to the Mannheim region. Next to more capacity for block trains and conventional SWL[2], this increase allows Lineas to provide up to 50% more capacity for intermodal volumes[3].


  • Swiss Xpress: increasing from 5 up to 8 RTR per week
  • Austria / Slovakia Xpress: increasing from 3 up to 6 RTR per week, with regular extensions to Hungary
  • Mannheim service: adding capacity for up to 3 RTR per week to Mannheim, Stuttgart, Karlsruhe

These regular long haul trains connect West Germany with three major hubs in Lineas’ network. In Antwerp, Rotterdam and Ruhr, goods can easily connect further to the rest of Europe via Lineas’ Green Xpress Network.

Want to know more about these services? Get in touch with your Lineas account manager or mail (intermodal volumes) or (conventional volumes).

[1] Source: Bloomberg

[2] Conventional: min. 10,000 gross tonnes extra per direction per week

[3] Intermodal: 120 TEU extra per direction per week