No trains between Leiden & The Hague until at least April 18, says ProRail
Train traffic between Leiden and The Hague will remain at a standstill until at least April 18. The necessary track repair work following a fatal accident in Voorschoten this week is taking longer than hoped, ProRail said on Thursday. National passenger rail service NS also announced the expectation their trains would not run on the route until April 18.
A DB Cargo freight train collided with a BAM maintenance worker's crane early Tuesday morning in the accident near Voorschoten. The crane and debris was then struck by the passing southbound NS Intercity train, which derailed as a result. A BAM worker was killed, and 30 people were injured including 19 who were hospitalized. At least two people were still in intensive care on Thursday, thought most of those injured were allowed to return home on Tuesday.
Railroad infrastructure firm ProRail said the extent of the damage on the track at Voorschoten has been examined together with contractors. An initial investigation showed that additional measures will be necessary before the process of salvaging the derailed Intercity train can begin. It is not yet clear when that train can be removed. The repair work on the track can only begin once the train has been salvaged.
ProRail also reported that the damage to the overhead lines, the track and the Voorschoten station is extensive. The underground cabling also needs to be repaired. The organization reported some progress, saying the DB Cargo freight train and the crane truck which were also involved in the accident have since been removed from the site.
Infrastructure State Secretary Vivianne Heijnen, who visited the accident site herself, said she understands why the repair work will take longer.
"I have seen the enormous havoc that has arisen there. I also know that people are working with all their might to get the situation back in order as quickly as possible," and adding she understood that patience will be needed.
Reporting by ANP