Latest derailment begs serious questions

15th August 2005, Comments 0 comments

15 August 2005, AMSTERDAM — Passenger lobby group Rover has said that the latest derailment raises serious questions about track safety at Central Station in Amsterdam.

15 August 2005

AMSTERDAM — Passenger lobby group Rover has said that the latest derailment  raises serious questions about track safety at Central Station in Amsterdam.

One of the most important questions, Rovers said, related to the tracks the Maastricht-Haarlem Intercity train was on when it derailed on the west side of the station at about 9.10am, on Monday morning.

A spokesperson for Rover said there rumours circulating within Dutch rail NS and network administrator ProRail that the derailment of a goods train in the station on 10 June was as a result of improperly repaired tracks.

A derailment of another goods train on 6 June damaged both the tracks the train was travelling on and the line next to it.

Rover said the question is now whether the passenger train derailed on Monday had also been travelling on previously damaged tracks.

The lobby group tried to contact ProRail for comment on Monday but by the afternoon no reply was forthcoming.

Rover's spokesperson also criticised the "poor standard of information and the inadequate solutions provided to passengers" following Monday's accident.

Rather than suspending all services scheduled to use Amsterdam Central Station, some trains could have be diverted to Sloterdijk station, Rover argued.

The derailment on Monday morning halted all train traffic to and from Central Station in Amsterdam. By 4pm trains were running again from Amsterdam Central Station to Utrecht, Amersfoort and Lelystad.

The Maastricht-Haarlem Intercity train derailed on the west side of the station and pulled down the overhead line above the track. There were no reports of injuries.

Rail administrator ProRail said power to all the overhead lines in the station has been cut off as a precaution due to the "considerable" damage caused by the accident.

News agency ANP reported that the passengers on the derailed Intercity did not panic. Passengers interviewed after the accident said the atmosphere had been "very calm".  

One of the passengers, named only as A. Tekin by ANP, described hearing a "hefty bang". "I thought: we are involved in a collision or a derailment. We were shaken up a bit but everyone remained calm. Only one woman in the rear hit her head against a seat."

Another passenger, S. Bouwma, was on her way to work in Haarlem when the accident occurred. "We bumped around for a moment and then everything was suddenly quiet. I thought first that we must have run over someone. Fortunately this was not the case."

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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