There is an issue covered in https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/QPID-3352 whereby federated routes can end up in an inconsistent state if say a queue route is created with a non-persistent queue and the source broker gets restarted. In this case if the queue gets re-added without first removing the link the qpid-route tool reports (via route map and link list) that everything looks OK, but it's not and no messages flow.
This is because at present the 'bridges' don't track operational status at all, only the 'links' do. A link corresponds to the connection (which in this case was fine); the bridge to a session & subscription (which had failed due to an error).
It would be nice to provide a mechanism whereby the non-operational status of the bridge can get reported. It would be good if this was covered both in the qpid-route tool but also in the QMF methods that relate to the creation of bridges (the broker connect method and link bridge method)