Unique metro station right on the beach opens in the Netherlands
The Rotterdam metro RET made its first trip to the new station on the Hoek van Holland beach on Friday. The station had been finished for a some time, but setbacks meant services could not start until now.
The ‘Hoekse lijn’ was formerly a train connection between Rotterdam and Hoek van Holland, which falls within the municipality of Rotterdam. The track between Schiedam and the South Holland seaside town was converted into a metro line in recent years. Alstom provided a CBTC signalling system for the last kilometres new metro line.
Work on the line, which began in 2017, soon became an uphill battle, as for years there were mostly delays, problems and cost overruns. Additional costs run into tens of millions. In 2018, the publication of a critical report on the delays and the million-euro shortfall led to the resignation of a local official. Yet stakeholders on Friday mostly wished to look forward, not backwards. Head of operator RET Maurice Unck commented: “All the inconvenience for passengers is over now, let the summer come!”
Closest to the beach?
“We have invested heavily in it, so now we have the first metro in Europe that runs right down to the beach”, said Vincent Karremans, the responsible municipal counsellor for Rotterdam said. “That’s unique for a lot of people and a huge win.” It is indeed a unique sight, and the design of the station has taken into account specifically the climate conditions near the sea. Specific measures were needed for protection against sand, wind, and salt from the seawater.
There are several other metro stations near to the beach that can contend for the title of metro station closest to the beach. In Spain, the Barcelona metro station Barceloneta comes close, but is still around 600 metres away in a straight line, measured with Google Maps.
Across the Atlantic ocean, New York features several beaches that are reachable with the subway. Coney Island station Stillwell Ave is around 500 metres away from the actual beach. Closest contender is New York station Ocean Pkwy with 170 metres from the beach. However, with just around 40 metres distance and an unobstructed walk right to the ocean, the Dutch metro station is a remarkable one.
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