01 September 2023, by Victoria Séveno
Rail infrastructure manager ProRail has warned travellers in the Netherlands to prepare for disruption to services in 2024 as a result of various construction projects planned on Dutch railway lines.
Construction work to affect weekday rail services in 2024
Last month, State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management Vivianne Heijnen revealed the details of the new contract between Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) and the Dutch government, and at the time warned that planned construction works on the Dutch rail network – especially around Amsterdam – would lead to the disruption of national rail services from next year.
Now, ProRail has echoed Heijnen’s warning, telling those who make use of public transport and Dutch rail services that 2024 will bring a number of construction projects for railways in the Netherlands, which will have knock-on effects on various routes and peak services. This week the rail operator confirmed that next year it will “work on the track more often during the day and during the week.”
For years, ProRail has generally aimed to plan major works for over weekends and holiday periods in order to “prevent nuisance for travellers”. However, that is set to change from 2024: “Due to various challenges, this is no longer a matter of course. That is why rail contractors are now also working outside weekends and holidays.”
Trains in Friesland to see the most disruption in June and July
Those travelling to, within or via Friesland have been warned to expect the most significant disruptions, but ProRail notes that carrying out construction works outside of weekends and holidays “will become increasingly necessary and in more places” over the coming years.
Next summer will see “six service interruptions that will take place during the week, during the day and outside the holidays.” All of which will affect services in Friesland over the course of a five-week period in June and July. The most significant disruption will occur in and around Leeuwarden, as well as between Heerenveen and Steenwijk, and Akkrum and Wolvega.
In a statement on its website, ProRail explains that the decision is the result of “staff shortages and strict legislation regarding flora and fauna,” as well as a move to “expand rail capacity” in the Netherlands. While the company acknowledges that this isn’t ideal for travellers and operators, ProRail emphasises that “it is necessary for well-maintained track and capacity expansions in the future.”
Thumb image credit: robert coolen / Shutterstock.com.