Work on rail tracks, Utrecht Central Station, NS train

Dutch Railway Investments 2015 and beyond

The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment is to invest 2.4 billion euros in the Dutch railway infrastructure in 2015. 1.2 billion will go to infrastructure management, maintenance and rail replacements. Approximately one billion euros will be invested in the construction of new railway infrastructure. Current investment levels are expected to continue over the coming years.

These figures were presented by Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Minister of Finance, during the 2015 budget announcements. The following main railway projects were specifically mentioned as part of this budget.

ERTMS & Railway Safety

In April 2014, the Dutch government decided to roll out the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS). 2.5 billion euros, which is to be spent before 2028, has been reserved for the implementation of this system.

To decrease the number of trains that pass a signal at danger (SPAD), there will be extra investment in ATB Vv, the current Dutch train protection system. In addition, NS will install ORBIT, a warning system, in all of its trains. These are extra safety measurements that will be taken before ERTMS is installed on Dutch tracks.

Railway Utilization

The High Frequent Rail Transport Program (PHS) will run until 2025. This project aims to run trains with high frequency on the main Dutch railway lines, so trains that run like metros. PHS has an investment volume of 4.5 billion euros.

Furthermore, 600 million euros is to be invested in a program designed to increase railway utilization. This project will run until the end of 2017 and investments will be made gradually throughout the project timeframe. The program aims to encourage  exploitation of the existing railway infrastructure. As a result, there should be a decrease in traffic congestion.

GSM-R

The Ministry of Economic Affairs is to invest 19 million euros to solve the problem of public mobile network interference which is causing problems in the railways’ GSM-R radio networks. 4 million euros will be spent in 2014 and 15 million euros in 2015.

Rail-Tech 2015

Rail-Tech 2015 will take place on the 17th, 18th and 19th of March 2015 in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Rail-Tech is the largest rail exhibition in the Benelux and is an international platform where technology and the rail market meet. Rail-Tech is supported by NS, ProRail and Railforum.

The exhibition provides an opportunity to meet buyers and decisions makers and to learn more about current and future railway projects in the Benelux. Around 6000 visitors are expected. During the exhibition a number of free technical workshops will take place on the exhibition floor. Find out more about possibilities to exhibit at Rail-Tech 2015.

Two additional conferences, on ERTMS and Rail Safety and Compliance, are to run parallel with Rail Tech 2015, both also boasting high-profile international speakers.

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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