Freezing conditions hamper roads and tracks

3rd March 2005, Comments 0 comments

3 March 2005, AMSTERDAM — Motorists were warned of icy conditions on Thursday, but most motorways have been described as "passable" despite the lingering blanket of heavy snow.

3 March 2005

AMSTERDAM — Motorists were warned of icy conditions on Thursday, but most motorways have been described as "passable" despite the lingering blanket of heavy snow.

Amsterdam is transformed into a winter wonderland

But the Department of Waterways and Public Works (Rijkswaterstaat) said the situation was more problematic on some provisional roads.

In general though, the country appeared to be slowly getting moving again. The morning rush hour, the department said, was somewhat busier than usual but few major problems were expected, except the danger of icy roads.

Nevertheless, many schools and businesses in the north of the country remained closed as cars were snowed in by 30-50cm of snow.

Bus services are also fragile. Bus company Arriva said it was operating in the northern provinces. Spokeswoman Inge Soetaers said despite icy patches on the roads "here and there", the company did not foresee major difficulties.

In contrast, Connexxion said that many of its scheduled services could not operate from the Randstad (the area encompassing Amsterdam, Utrecht, The Hague and Rotterdam) to outlying areas.

Bus travel within Amsterdam and along the Zuid Holland bus corridor was described to Novum Nieuws as impossible.

The freezing of the snow cover is also reported to be causing real difficulties on the country's train lines.

Rail operator ProRail said several problems had been reported with frozen and snowed in switching points.

ProRail warned of delays averaging about 15 minutes on several lines affected by the problem, the cancellation of some intercity services on the Amersfoort-Schiphol line and a total halt to travel on the Deventer-Rijssen line.

Maintenance workers are using electrical current and heated gas to clear the frozen snow from sensitive mechanisms on the train lines, but the work is not expected to clear all the problems by the end of Thursday.

Meanwhile, weather bureau KNMI has warned of more snow across the entire country during the course of Thursday and into Friday

"In addition, the snow cover could lead to severe freezing with local temperatures from minus 10 to minus 15 degrees. This could make it the coldest night in March since 1971," KNMI said.

Photograph courtesy of Rory Wales. 

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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