ProRail preparing measures to make overcrowded stations safer

Crowded train station in the Netherlands
Crowded train station in the Netherlands. (Photo: Iijjccoo / Wikimedia Commons)

Many train stations in the Netherlands are not built to handle the expected growth in traveler numbers in the coming years. In order to prevent unclear and even dangerous situations on overcrowded platforms, rail manager ProRail is drawing up an emergency plan to keep the crowds under control, NU.nl reports. 

Passenger and freight transport on the Dutch rails is expected to increase by 40 percent by 2040. This means that more trains will have to run, and more tracks will have to be built in the coming years to cope with this growth. 

But the current infrastructure of the train stations cannot cope with this growth well. ProRail will therefore map the capacity and safety of all stations and platforms in the coming period. Based on this analysis, an emergency plan will be drawn up with extra measures against crowds in stations and on platforms.

Measures will include things like making platforms wider and longer, improving the design of tunnels, and building more stairs to and from the platforms. More check-in and check-out posts must be placed at station entrances, to prevent congestion. And so-called 'logical walkways' must be clearly indicated, so that travelers immediately know where they have to go to leave the station. 

A number of train stations are already struggling with crowds on a regular basis. These include tracks 1,2,3 and 4 at Amsterdam Zuid, tracks 1 and 2 at Schiphol, and tracks 5 and 7 at Utrecht Central Station. A 'crowd controller' is already regularly deployed at these stations to make sure the traveler flow is fast and smooth. 

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