The landslide that occurred on 27 August still impacts the railway connections between Italy and France, and the traffic through the Fréjus railway tunnel has been interrupted since then. This produces massive damage for the operators and the railway sector; the Infrastructure Managers and the Rail Freight Corridor are doing their best to find solutions.
Before the start of the restoration works on the railway, and before we can imagine a reopening, the process of securing the cliff is essential. The Conseil départemental de la Savoie is responsible for this activity, which has already been started and will last until the summer of 2024. This activity implies alternating phases of removal of unstable elements and cliff consolidation phases.
As regards the railway tunnel, from December 2023, SNCF Réseau will lead the works to remove the mass of debris weighing on it. Since August 30th, the engineering teams have executed the first drone flights to identify damage outside the tunnel entering from the opposite side.
So far, no significant anomaly has been identified that would give rise to concern about the tunnel’s collapse risk. Several on-foot on-site inspections were then carried out, which confirmed this diagnosis.
For freight transport:
- Alternative re-routings for rail freight transport towards Italy are proposed via the border points of Ventimiglia or Basel (via Switzerland) or even via Germany and Switzerland (via Hausbergen & Basel)
- SNCF Réseau has implemented, since 27 August, a specific device for accompanying customers and adapting time tracks of their transportation plans from one end to the other.
- SNCF Réseau interacts and communicates regularly with the other Infrastructure Managers (Italy and Switzerland), ensuring good coordination.