Intercity Direct train (Photo: Roel Hemkes/Wikimedia Commons) - Credit: Intercity Direct train (Photo: Roel Hemkes/Wikimedia Commons)
Wednesday, 17 February 2016 - 14:10
Dutch high speed train line can’t handle strong gusts
The Netherlands' high speed train line (HSL) was brought to a stand still by strong winds 38 times last year, cancelling 236 trains. Seven times more than average, Dutch newspaper AD reports based on its own research with treinreiziger.nl. A spokesperson for rail manager ProRail confirmed these numbers to NU. According to him, the HSL bridge over the Hollandsch Diep is regularly a problem. "The trains have to slow down if the wind gauges on the bridge measure 115 kilometers per hour. With gusts of 128 kilometers per hour the line shuts down, according to the European rules." According to the spokesperson, 2015 was a windy year with many days that the Intercity Direct, the successor to they Fyra, could not travel due to high winds. The Intercity Direct connects Amsterdam via Schiphol and Rotterdam to Breda. But 1 in 10 trains never make it to Breda. A large majority in the Tweede Kamer, lower house of Dutch parliament, wants an explanation from State Secretary Sharon Dijksma of Infrastructure and Environment, according to AD. The Kamer will debate the matter with Dijksma on Wednesday afternoon.