At least two migrants have frozen to death
The crossing from Austria to Bavaria, in Germany, has frozen over, leading to at least two migrant deaths in recent weeks.
A recent case involved a 17-year-old from Pakistan who was discovered clinging to the roof of a freight train from Italy to Bavaria by a fellow train driver.
He survived his ordeal, and was taken to a youth centre to be processed.
Police said the teenager was “incredibly lucky” to have survived the journey which was wrought with deadly obstacles.
The Rosenheim federal police inspectorate said: “Even the mere proximity to the overhead line, which has a voltage of 15,000 volts, carries a deadly risk.”
The two refugees who froze were not so fortunate after they stowed away inside a truck loaded on a freight train.
They were attempting to cross the 1,400 metre-high Brenner Pass through the mountains, linking Italy and Austria, when they were discovered.
Authorities said some trucks had inadvertently run over the pair, but they were most likely to be already frozen by that point.
The number of migrants trying to sneak onto freight trains has been decreasing
But the number of migrants trying to sneak onto freight trains has been decreasing after stricter controls were imposed.
In a bid to get around the tighter rules, smugglers have turned towards trucks making the perilous routes.
Traffickers slash the tarp covering the good and migrants stow away in the cargo, as when the trucks are stopped at checkpoints the federal police check the vehicles but do not have time to completely unload them.
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But new measures are being introduced to try to close this loophole, with new state-of-the-art devices being used which can detect heartbeats.
Even if smugglers manage to bypass controls, some migrants are still abandoned in freezing conditions if needs be.
Federal Police spokesman, Rainer Scharf, reported that more than two dozen migrants – including a baby – were found stranded by an ice cold roadside.
Sugglers have turned towards trucks making the perilous routes
The migrants were left to their fate
Some 19 people, from Iraq, Syria and Iran, were dumped in a car park in Brannenburg, in the Upper Bavarian county, in -20C conditions.
Mr Scharf said: “The migrants were left to their fate, there was a small baby.”
dded that even if they arrive at their destination after the dangerous journey, a third are turned away as they do not have a proper claim.
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Some face criminal charges after presenting fake passports, identity cards, visas and other papers, with 1,000 recent cases in the Rosenheim area alone.
Mr Scharf said: “They have to be rejected because they came to us without naming a reason for seeking asylum.”
But he praised the work of the security services, who managed to catch 280 smugglers last year, and 700 in 2015.
A 17-year-old from Pakistan who was discovered clinging to the roof of a freight train
He added: "Even if it does not look like it: at least every second day there is a suspected smuggler at the border controls that we then arrest.
"From the simple shoplifter to the wanted murderer, there is everything. The officials never know who they are facing.
"When someone opens the glove compartment we never know if they are just getting their identity card."
There is always a fear they could be reaching for a weapon, he said, but added police always keep guns, knives and batons handy.
The 650km stretch along the German-Austrian border, from Lake Constance region and the Berchtesgaden Alps is where police intercept the majority of migrants.
Last year they caught 77,000 people, mostly from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria and Somalia.