The Chamber of Deputies has passed what is said to be one of the costliest financing laws ever, committing more than €7 billion to railway traffic and infrastructure until 2039.

Analyses of a potential expansion of the Ettelbruck-Troisvierges train connection are already underway, announced Minister for Mobility and Public Works François Bausch in response to a motion from the Alternative Democratic Reform Party (ADR) in the Chamber on Wednesday.

The issue was brought up by the ADR and supported by the Christian Social People's Party (CSV) in light of the railway tunnel collapse between Kautenbach and Wilwerwiltz last year. It is expected to take another six to seven weeks before the route becomes operational again. For the time being, commuters have to rely on private cars or replacement buses.

According to Minister Bausch, repair efforts are going on around the clock, but he stressed that they are not able to "perform wonders".

While the ADR motion was discarded in the end, MPs still unanimously voted in favour of the new contract with national railway company CFL, which is said to be one of the costliest laws ever, with €7 billion committed for the years 2025 to 2039.

What's going on with line 10?

The train line 10 between Ettelbruck and Gouvy was scheduled to be shut from 20 August to 12 September 2022 due to maintenance work. Part of the maintenance operation was to check the stability of the structure and to place new bolts in the tunnel. During that process, the roof began to crumble and a limited amount of debris came down, CFL Spokeswoman Allesandra Nonnweiler explained. The tunnel is located between Kautenbach and Wilwerwiltz.

The reason behind the renovation delays in the tunnel is linked to the size of a cavity within the structure between the Kautenbach and Wilwerwiltz stations. For months, workers have been placing cement and concrete on this structure, only to discover the interior cavity is larger than expected. Where previously ten instalments of drilling work were planned to stabilise the inside of the cavity, workers will now have to increase this to 70.

In addition trains between Ettelbruck and Kautenbach were also halted as a precautionary measure, due to the risk of landslides after one of the rocks became unstable because of heavy rainfall.