ProRail closed the unguarded railway crossing in Geleen, Limburg, due to a number of recent near-miss incidents at the crossing. Last week the rail manager posted a video of one such near miss at this crossing online, as part of a campaign to warn against the dangers of level crossings. The video went viral, NOS reports.
The Dutch government plans to get rid of all unguarded railway crossings in the country within five years. No one else should become a victim due to the lack of booms and bells, State Secretary Stientje van Veldhoven wrote to the lower house of Dutch parliament, NOS reports.
Unguarded railway crossings are "just not of this time", Van Veldhoven wrote. "Every accident is one too many", she said. The initial plan was to get rid of unguarded crossings within 10 years. These plans are now being accelerated to within 5 years, "preferably even faster".
State Secretary Stientje van Veldhoven of Infrastructure and Water Management is not impressed by ProRail CEO Pier Eringa's intention to start blocking off unguarded railway crossings at his own initiative. "It is now a tradition for Mr. Eringa to show up with all kinds of plans in the media in the run-up to a parliamentary debate about railways", she said, NOS reports.
The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, will discuss the railways on Thursday.
Next week ProRail will start placing concrete blocks at 120 dangerous unguarded railway crossing throughout the country - without waiting for local consultations to end. "Next week we will start closing roads ourselves. That is the safest solution", ProRail CEO Pier Eringa said to the Telegraaf.
An Arriva train crashed into a car at an unguarded rail crossing near Scheemda on Monday morning. The motorist was killed. The train driver remained unharmed. There were no passengers on the train, NOS reports.
The cause of the accident is not yet clear. There is currently no train traffic on the route between Groningen and Veendam.
This is not the first accident at this crossing. In 2015 a person in a car died after a collision with a train at the same crossing. Another collision happened in January of this year, but no one was killed.
ProRail is closing an unguarded rail crossing on Tuunterweg near the village of Aalten to cars after a fatal accident on the crossing on Wednesday night. A 19-year-old motorist from Aalten was killed when his car was hit by an Arriva train, Omroep Gelderland reports.
The car was hit by an Arriva train traveling between Arnhem and Winterswijk on the unguarded crossing. The police are investigating how this accident happened.
A collision between a train and a car in Harlingen on Monday took the lives of a 31-year-old father and his 3-year-old son, the police announced on Monday night. The car was hit by an Arriva train at a private crossing on a farm where the boy's school was on a field trip. The car was dragged about 250 meters, NOS reports.
There was no one else in the car. The father and son were the first to leave the farm after the field trip, according to De Limburger. Many other students of the Prins Johan Friso School and their parents saw the accident happen.
At least two people were killed when an Arriva train collided with a car at a crossing on Oude Trekweg in Harlingen, Friesland on Monday. More fatalities are not ruled out, the police said. According to the Leeuwarder Courant, the victims are an adult and a child.
Several people were injured in a collision between a car and a train in Harlingen on Monday. The accident happened at a level crossing on Oude Trekweg, NOS reports.
It seems that the people in the car were injured. According to NOS, they are still in the car and their current condition is unknown. An air ambulance was deployed to help.
The Dutch government is making another 25 million euros available to secure unguarded railroad crossings throughout the country. This is on top of 10 million euros already dedicated to the purpose, State Secretary Sharon Dijksma of Infrastructure and Environment announced, according to BNR.
Some of the unguarded railway crossings will be closed, others will be equipped with booms or warning signs. Dijksma hopes to convince provinces and municipalities to also contribute money for this purpose.