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Patrols along the track


This was an exercise carried out by the 20 National Reserve battalion Delta Company. The soldiers practised guarding and securing the railway area with access control and area patrols, on foot and with vehicles. Both ProRail and the Ministry of Defence have an interest in such joint exercise. ProRail manages and the Ministry of Defence defends vital infrastructure. Specifically, this joint exercise provides insight into how cooperation between the Ministry of Defence and ProRail’s incident responders. This prepares both organisations for calamities or crisis situations.




Willem Franken is project manager at ProRail and responsible for the management and maintenance of the Kijfhoek yard. He also works for the Ministry of Defence, where he works on the training programme. From this dual role, he saw the importance of an exercise and got both parties to work together: “The track in the port area is mainly used for transport but also has a strategic importance. Here, ProRail has an important role in serving Europe. Many goods go in and out of the continent via the port. It is not inconceivable that we will have to call on the joint cooperation of the Ministry of Defence and ProRail more often in the future.”

Should it ever be necessary to deploy the Ministry of Defence, it is important to have a team ready and aware of the surroundings and approach routes of the port area. But working together is also about understanding how each other’s procedures work and where the bottlenecks are. “We at both ProRail and the Ministry of Defence learned a lot from the exercise and see the positives of a repeat action. There is still much we can learn from each other,” said Willem Franken.