Kijfhoek is the largest rail freight yard in the Netherlands; it can be seen as a sorting centre for trains. Wagons carrying goods from various logistics centres are assembled here into trains bound for their final destinations. This is done using the ‘humping’ process, which is unique in the Netherlands.
Humping is a method of dividing up a single set of train wagons into multiple branch lines. The train wagons are pushed over a large hump (or hill). As they roll over the hump, each wagon ends up on the right track via computer-controlled points. Special ‘rail brakes’ – also automatically controlled – ensure that the wagons do not roll too fast and come to a stop at the right point.
Kijfhoek is therefore an important link between our ports and the major industrial areas in the Netherlands and Europe. Tens of thousands of freight trains depart from and pass through here every year.