Digging badgers force 1 week cancellation of all trains between Eindhoven & Den Bosch
A badger den found under a section of railroad forced the cancellation of all train service between Eindhoven and Den Bosch for at least a week, said railroad manager ProRail on Tuesday. The Dutch national railway, NS, said in an update in its travel planner that it will operate a replacement bus service to assist passengers on the busy route.
Even with the bus service, or with alternate routes through Tilburg, travellers should plan on adding 30-60 minutes to their commute time.
“Badgers have undercut the track at Esch. As a result, the track can subside and the safety of train traffic can no longer be guaranteed,” said ProRail. The situation may seem “very drastic,” but ProRail said it had no other option.
“We are doing everything we can to get back to driving as soon as possible.”
It’s the second time in a month that badgers have caused extensive problems to a section of railroad when building a sett, another word their den. The badgers prefer sandy soil making railroad embankments an ideal habitat for them. ProRail is busy trying to get permits to build an artificial sett for the badgers in Molkwerum, Friesland where rail traffic was stopped a few weeks ago.
To get the trains between Eindhoven and Den Bosch up and running, ProRail will have to decide how to deal with the digging animals, so that they can repair the track and ground underneath it.
"After all, the badgers are protected animals and that is why permission from the competent authority is first required. The badger burrows had been known to ProRail for some time and a required procedure was already started for recovery. In recent days, an inspection showed that badgers had suddenly begun to dig much more actively with direct consequences for the safety of the railway,” ProRail said.
ProRail CEO John Voppen also called on the Cabinet to help make it possible to deal with such situations more rapidly.