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Part of the railway embankments may not be ready for heavier and longer trains

An NS train on the track near Akkrum in the province of Friesland

NOS News

Some of the railway embankments may not be suitable for the passage of faster and heavier trains in the future. This is evident from research into the stability of those dikes commissioned by rail manager ProRail. More research is needed to find out whether measures are necessary.

“These railway embankments are often more than 100 years old and we want to run more trains in the future,” said Martijn de Graaf of ProRail in the NOS Radio 1 Journaal. “These trains often become heavier, also because they become longer. And we are dealing with climate change.”

A safety standard for the stability of the dikes has been drawn up for these future developments. Four engineering firms have examined 2,600 kilometers of railway embankment to see whether they meet that standard. To a large extent this cannot yet be demonstrated.

Rail is safe

“We see that we certainly have work to do and we will certainly do that in the coming years,” said De Graaf. He assures that the current train traffic does not pose any risks to the dikes. “It is safe on the track. We also say, we drive safely or we don’t drive or we adjust train traffic.”

He cites the situation now in Zeeland as an example. There, the track has collapsed due to heavy rain and 54 kilometers of track need to be repaired. That will take weeks. On the Vlissingen-Roosendaal route, the number of trains has been reduced from three per hour to one per hour and on some sections the trains may only travel at a speed of 40 kilometers per hour.

2023-12-11 08:32:30
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