Dutch rail crossings to be painted yellow for extra safety

Yellow railway crossing in Baarn
Yellow railway crossing in Baarn. (Photo: @ProRail / Twitter)

ProRail is expanding its experiment with bright yellow-colored railway crossings after a first test in Baarn proved to be successful. According to ProRail, road users used the yellow crossing in Baarn more carefully, the number of incidents decreased, and the yellow crossing also strengthened the sense of security, NU.nl reports.

A ProRail spokesperson could not yet say how long new experiments will last, and how many railway crossings will be used. The rail manager is currently examining which crossings will be suitable for the experiment, and what adjustments need to be made. The goal is to expand the experiment "as soon as possible", the spokesperson said to the newspaper.

"The great thing about this solution is that we can do it ourselves", the spokesperson said. The roads underneath railway crossings belong to ProRail, so the company does not need permission from other parties like municipalities or road authorities to make changes. "We have that when it comes to, for example, removing rail crossings. That is why it takes so long before we achieve something", the spokesperson said. "But it is not that we do not care about anyone. We will explain to local residents that it is in the interest of their safety."

ProRail's ultimate goal is zero railway crossings in the Netherlands. "The more the train and other road users are separated, the safer and better it is for the flow of train and road traffic", according to ProRail. The company plans to remove most of the unguarded crossings within three years. Getting rid of the guarded crossings will take longer, according to the rail manager. 

Last week the Dutch Safety Board published a report saying that railway crossings in the Netherlands can and must be safer. According to the board, unguarded crossings are unacceptable due to the high speed of trains. And the government must do more to reduce the number of accidents at crossings.