Season’s first moderate frost causing train troubles; Grit spread across all roads overnight
The first official moderate frost of this winter is in the books, with the temperature in De Bilt, Utrecht having fallen to -5.2 degrees Celsius at 6:40 a.m. on Tuesday morning, Weer.nl reported. This caused problems on the railroads. There were delays on several routes because of frost on the overhead wires along the train routes.
Because of that layer of frost, the electric current was not as easily conducted to the trains. Railroad firm ProRail said that two trains were stranded between Amersfoort and Baarn as a result. The eight travelers on board were to be collected as quickly as possible. There was also a delay between Zwolle and Amersfoort, and a switch failure between Groningen and Zuidhorn. The NS expected most issues to be resolved by about 8:30 a.m., though some incidents might not be cleared up until 11:15 a.m.
Temperatures dropped below freezing in large parts of the country overnight. It was freezing not only in De Bilt on Tuesday morning, but also in the north, south and east of the country. Moderate frost is officially recorded when the temperature falls below -5 degrees in De Bilt, the meteorological center of the country. The last time it was moderately freezing was on March 6. Last winter, the first official moderate frost was measured on January 31. That was the end of a record-long period of 740 days without moderate frost.
Rijkswaterstaat deployed gritting trucks in several places on Monday evening to avoid slippery conditions. The fritters were dispatched to the main roads of all provinces, except in Zeeland. It will be "really cold tonight, the asphalt is zero degrees so water freezes immediately," said a spokeswoman for Rijkswaterstaat. "There is a good chance that moisture from the air will freeze on the road due to condensation. Gritting prevents it from freezing in the morning."
Thicker layers of salt were spread along bridges and viaducts, which become even colder than other road sections due to the amount of steel used in their construction and wind conditions.
There was one major accident reported overnight, the cause of which is still under investigation. One person was killed in the crash on the A28 near Zuidwolde in Drenthe. The collision involved several cars and trucks.
"When emergency workers arrived at the scene they immediately started providing assistance,” but the victim in the crash died . This was no longer of any use for one person, this person died on the spot. Another victim was taken to hospital for a check-up," according to the Drenthe police.
The highway was closed for some time near Zuidwolde for research and salvage work. Police are investigating the cause of the nighttime traffic accident.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times.