Shunting area Kijfhoek, Netherlands

Dutch railways get 1.4 billion extra for track maintenance

Over the next two years, an extra 700 million euros will be invested in the Dutch railway network. This allows infrastructure manager ProRail to solve problems on the Harbour Line, as well as the hill system at Kijfhoek. State Secretary Stientje van Veldhoven reported this on Budget Day (15 September) in a video interview with sister publication SpoorPro. 

A total budget of 1.4 billion euros has been reserved, of which 700 million will be spent over the next two years. According to the minister, this makes it possible to take quick steps in “better management, maintenance and replacement of the rail infrastructure”.

Port of Rotterdam

Part of the extra investment will go to the rail infrastructure in the port of Rotterdam, which means that the upgrading of the existing infrastructure can be accelerated. “Together with ProRail, we commissioned a thorough analysis to find out what is needed to make freight transport more robust. It is extremely important for all those freight transporters to be able to provide a reliable service. The hill process in Kijfhoek is very important in that.

“I recently visited Kijfhoek. The hill system is like an old lady. As with old ladies, flaws do come about at some point. This means that a major renovation is required. With these extra resources, we can get to work faster.” Initially, the hill system would be renewed in 2018, but the project has been postponed to 2021-2023. According to Van Veldhoven, this replacement can now take place more quickly.

Complaints

Dutch rail freight carriers filed a claim of millions with ProRail last week due to the faltering rail infrastructure in the port of Rotterdam. According to the six parties submitting the claim, the damage is about six million per year. According to the parties, the list of defects is too long to mention.

Hans-Willem Vroon, director of interest group RailGood said that the availability of a budget is good news, but it was not the underlying problem. “ProRail needs to change its approach. We will see what happens when we get the results of the analysis carried out.” The results of this investigation, called the CrisisLab, are expected in more or less two weeks.

Watch the video interview here:

Author: Marieke van Gompel

Marieke van Gompel is editor-in-chief of RailTech.com, RailFreight.com and SpoorPro.nl, online magazines for railway professionals.

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