In a decree approved by its cabinet, Germany has decided to prioritize railroad transportation of energy production materials as the Rhine’s water levels remain at a depleted level. The country is looking to avoid any hampering of shipments should water levels fall further.
“In order to ensure security of supply, we also have to change the delivery routes. This requires very demanding logistics, which makes it necessary to prioritize energy transport by rail,” economy minister Robert Habeck said of the situation.
As Russian pipeline gas imports remain low, coal and oil are being prioritized in the production of energy, making the efficient transportation of these materials essential. Coal and oil have also become widely used as gas substitutes in the fuel manufacturing process.
The law prioritizing railroad transportation will remain in effect for six months in order to help Germany provide sufficient energy and heating to its citizens during the coming winter months.
DB Netz, the network operator arm of Deutsche Bahn, is prioritizing the passage of trains carrying mineral oil and coal products used for energy production. Other materials used in energy production and power transmissions such as gas and transformer equipment will also be prioritized over passenger trains and transportation of non-energy-related goods.