The tests come after an instruction in November from State Secretary for Infrastructure Mrs Stientje van Velthoven to trial reduced night time freight train speeds on the Meteren-’s-Hertogenbosch-Boxtel line – a north-south distance of around 30 kms.
Between 01.00h and 05.00h trains will run at 60 km/h instead of the normal 80-95 km/h. A special test train will be operated on two or three evenings made up of different types of freight wagons with various types of cargo at speeds varying between 40, 60 and 95 km/h.
Trackside cameras and sound equipment will record train speeds and measure amplitude and frequency of sound waves. These will be calibrated and matched and the results will be with all stakeholders, including residents complaining about train noise, in 2020. The Dutch government will then consider whether night hours freight trains must run at lower speeds permanently, at least on certain tracks.
- Earlier in December, nltimes.nl reported that the foundation of the Dutch rail network is in many places not suitable to run trains faster and at higher frequency. A spokesperson for ProRail confirmed this after Rolf Dollevoet, a Professor at TU Delft professo,r raised concerns in the Telegraaf. If the rails become even busier, some parts of the foundation could collapse, he said.