In the Netherlands the concerns of rail freight operators were heard by state secretary Stientje van Veldhoven of Infrastructure and Water Management, who visited rail freight yards in Kijfhoek in Zwijndrecht and Waalhaven South in the Rotterdam port area on Wednesday. In recent years, various problems have occured on these yards, which have had a negative effect on the availability of rail freight transport.
During the working visit to Kijfhoek, the new director Nanouke van ‘t Riet of DB Cargo Netherlands and mayor Hein van der Loo of Zwijndrecht were also present.
Visit port area
ProRail’s operational director Ans Rietstra received the delegation. “It is great that the state secretary has come to take a look at the port area together with other interested parties. It remains a long-term task to get everything in order, but we are working hard on it, ”says Rietstra.
During the visit to the Waalhaven South railway yard, country manager Pieter Hazejager from Captrain and operational manager of Lineas the Netherlands Arno van Deursen joined the delegation. Van Deursen: “We had an open discussion about the challenges that rail operators and their customers currently face. The state secretary is very well aware of what is going on in the sector. ”
On 19 May, shunting at Kijfhoek were halted because an inspection showed that several switches were not properly maintained. Seven switches were immediately taken out of service. Earlier this year and last year availability at Kijfhoek was jeopardised. This meant a great deal of inconvenience for rail freight transporters.
The Waalhaven South yard is currently not available for shunting and exchanging locomotives with dangerous goods due to problems with the extinguishing system. In the meantime, an external independent investigation has started to assess the current situation in the Rotterdam port area.
ProRail works together with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, municipalities and the rail freight sector to find solutions for the short and long term.