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Train traffic halted

Since Thursday several parts of the tracks were under water and in a number of places goods trains could no longer run. In such conditions, we have to stop train traffic for safety reasons. This is of course extremely annoying for the carriers and shippers who use that railway line and the yards.

Especially in the Botlek, Pernis and Waalhaven-Zuid rail yards, we found it difficult to drain the water. We are therefore very grateful to everyone who worked in the bad weather to pump away the hundreds of cubic metres of water. ProRail CFO Mirjam van Velthuizen says: “Our thanks really go to all those men and women who worked hard this weekend to get the tracks operational again as quickly as possible. The conditions were obviously not the best, to say the least. Fortunately, everything is now running again.”

Photo caption

Heavy rain in Rotterdam. Photo by Sanne van den Haak

Excess water

Specialist companies have been deployed and extra rental pumps are still running to drain the excess water. A lot of tankers were needed to drain the large amount of water. The inconvenience lasted longest at Waalhaven-Zuid yard. After the last tankers carrying water left the site, the tracks were checked so that freight operators could use the yards again as soon as possible.

“Thank you to everyone who worked hard this weekend in this weather to get the tracks operational again.”

– Mirjam van Velthuizen CFO at ProRail

An annoying situation

It is extraordinary how much rain has fallen over the past few days. It does not happen often and apparently our systems were not prepared enough for it. The question is whether they could have been. We realise that this has been a very annoying situation for hauliers and shippers. That is partly why we took immediate action and are going to look at how we can better deal with this amount of excess water. Especially as we are expected to face more weather extremes such as rainfall in the future.

We will take the experiences of this weekend into account to prepare as well as possible for such a situation next time, together with the partners in the port, such as the municipality, the Rotterdam Port Authority and the water boards.