Netherlands converts unprotected level crossings
Dutch railway infrastructure manager ProRail continues to implement its five-year strategy on converting the unprotected level crossings. There are more than a hundred points of this type in the Netherlands. Fifty of them will be converted by Dutch engineering and consulting company Antea Group. The conversion of all unprotected level crossings should be completed in 2021.
The conversion of unprotected level crossings will be carried out in four ways. These locations may be equipped with some engineering solutions (barriers, bells, red lights, etc.). Overpasses or tunnels may be also installed. The last option is the closure of an unprotected level crossing in one location and the launch of a new protected point in another location. “We are proud to be able to implement this important project for ProRail and thus to contribute to greater safety on and around the tracks”, noted Advisory Manager of Antea Group David Verspeek.
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In 2018, ProRail speeded up its activity over unprotected level crossings. The infrastructure manager started to install concrete blocks close to unprotected points. This measure caused discussions over the necessity of concrete blocks. One resident of Lunteren even filed a claim requiring compensation for blocking the level crossing near his house. However, ProRail argued that the concrete block is a temporary measure to quickly restrict people’s access to the tracks.
According to ProRail (November 2017 data), there are 2,400 level crossings in the Netherlands, 350 of them unprotected. At the same time, only 125 unprotected level crossings are publicly accessible. The others have restricted access because they are located between two agricultural plots or provide entrance to houses or businesses.