Deutsche Bahn (DB) announced this on its website. Initially, the railway had reported impairments until at least Tuesday, but then corrected this assessment over the course of Friday. Many long-distance trains are currently being diverted. There are still delays and cancellations. The important Berlin-Hannover railway line with numerous long-distance connections has been closed since Thursday morning. Travelers should check before boarding inform about their connections, said the railway. Two freight trains collided between Leiferde and Dalldorf on Thursday night. A train stopped at a stop signal, then a following train drove up for reasons that have not yet been clarified, according to the fire brigade. The locomotive was severely damaged and lifted off the tracks. The 45-year-old driver of the approaching train was taken to a hospital with serious injuries, the federal police said. The other train driver was slightly injured.
Salvaging the tank wagons is difficult
As long as propane gas escapes from the damaged tanker, the scene of the accident cannot be cleared, the federal police said. “Any spark could trigger a disaster,” said a spokesman. A total of 25 tank wagons from the freight train that was pulled up were filled with propane gas, which can form an explosive mixture when combined with air. Two tank wagons overturned in the collision and two more derailed. Two leaks developed from which the gas escaped. According to the federal police, the two damaged tank wagons each loaded 50 tons of gas – it can be assumed that around 250 kilograms are escaping every hour. The wagons that remained intact were pulled out of the danger zone on Friday, the spokesman said. This creates space for the rescue equipment. It is also planned to pump propane gas out of the leaking tank wagons – half at first, then the wagons should be carefully erected and the rest should be pumped out. “It certainly doesn’t start today,” the spokesman said.
Elaborate rescue with heavy equipment in the forest
The biggest challenge is to create a “reasonable infrastructure,” the spokesman said. The forest paths at the accident site were softened. It is being considered to completely gravel the paths in order to be able to bring the equipment to salvage the wagons and the damaged locomotive on site. In addition, the overhead line must be repaired. It is also unclear whether the rails and the subsoil are affected. According to the federal police, it is not yet clear what caused the collision between the freight trains. The investigations ran in all directions, said a spokesman on Friday when asked. We don’t want to comment on assumptions.
Detours via Uelzen cause delays
In addition to long-distance traffic, the accident also affects regional traffic: According to a spokeswoman for the Metronom railway company, all long-distance and freight trains will be diverted via Uelzen until further notice. Therefore, the trains are delayed, especially on the Hanover – Hamburg route. On the Erixx route between Uelzen and Gifhorn, a replacement bus service was set up on the section between Uelzen and Wieren. Between Hanover, Gifhorn and Wolfsburg, the Enno trains only commute between Hanover and Lehrte. According to the company, a rail replacement service is also to be set up on the remaining route.
No danger to the population
Despite the escaping propane gas, there was never any danger to the population. The accident site is in the middle of the forest and is “far away from the next building”, around 2,500 meters, said a spokesman for the fire brigade. The wind also distributes the gas.
The following long-distance train connections are cancelled:
- Trains of the ICE line 9 (Berlin – Bonn)
- Individual trains of the ICE/IC route 24 (Hamburg – Hanover – Berlin / Berlin – Frankfurt/Southern Germany)
- Individual trains of IC line 26 (Berlin – Hanover – Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe – Fulda – Frankfurt/South Germany)
- Trains on IC line 32 (Berlin – Hanover – Dortmund – Cologne – Mannheim – Stuttgart – Ulm)
- Trains on IC line 56 (Dresden – Leipzig – Magdeburg – Hanover – Bremen – Emden – Norddeich Mole)
on The following long-distance lines are partially canceled:
- Trains on IC line 14 (Baltic Sea resort of Binz – Berlin – Hanover – Dortmund – Cologne) are canceled between Berlin Ostbahnhof and Cologne Hbf
- Trains on IC line 55 (Cologne – Dortmund – Hanover – Magdeburg – Leipzig – Dresden) are canceled between Cologne Hbf and Braunschweig Hbf
- Trains on IC line 77 (Berlin – Hanover – Bad Bentheim – Amsterdam Centraal) are canceled between Berlin Ostbahnhof and Hanover Hbf
- Detours and delays will occur on other connections.