Easier train run from the Rotterdam harbors to Germany and back
Since December 8th the whole freight line in the Netherlands from Rotterdam Maasvlakte until over the German border near Emmerich is equipped with ERTMS. That makes it easier for trains to run nonstop from the Rotterdam harbor to Germany and back. Freight trains have to run in future from the Rotterdam Harbor to Genova without changing the signaling system in the different countries. Since December 8th this is already possible within the Netherlands. Important because a smooth running trainsystem is meaningful for the Dutch economy. The Rotterdam Harborline and the Betuweroute were already equipped with ERTMS, but marshalling yard Kijfhoek and the part from Zevenaar to the German border were only accessible with ATB. The Dutch ministry ordered ProRail to install ERTMS at the Marshalling yard Kijfhoek (realized in October 2014) and at Zevenaar, which was finished last weekend. Also for the contractors Strukton, Van Gelder Rail and supplier Alsthom an important milestone! They installed for instance 600 signaling points. The transformation of the line Zevenaar to Zevenaar border is the first occasion where ERTMS level 2 is installed and where ATB is removed on a main, existing line in the Netherlands.
Managing director Ad Toet of Royal Dutch Transport (KNV): “We want an European area in which trains can cross borders unimpeded. Until now the different signaling systems are one of the main obstacles. In particular in the small EU-countries this causes extra costs and it weakens the competiveness of their harbors. So it’s evident for the Netherlands as transit country to have a huge interest in ERTMS.” For the promotion of the international traffic in the near future more works will be carried out on the Dutch part near Zevenaar: a third track is built and the catenary will be switched from 1500 volts to 25kV.
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