Unsafe rail freight companies risk being banned

29th September 2009, Comments 0 comments

The Dutch national rail infrastructure company wants rail freight companies to implement better safety measures to prevent future accidents.

The Netherlands – The director of national rail infrastructure company ProRail told rail freight companies to improve their safety standards or risk being banned from railways.

His remarks came a week after two freight trains collided into each other near Rotterdam, leaving one of the drivers dead.

Last week’s accident was the fourth freight train crash in a single year.

In an interview with de Volkskrant, Bert Klerk, ProRail director, said: 'These [accidents] could have all ended in real disaster …Something has to happen soon or I will ban cargo trains from the railways.'

Prorail argues that every one of those accidents could have been a major disaster.

Accidents like that should occur once every 10 years at most, according to the company, which manages the rail network on behalf of the government.

ProRail wants train companies to improve maintenance of their rolling stock. Drivers should be better trained and be familiar with the routes they are on.

The companies have been given until 1 January to get their trains in order.

Since privatisation of the rail sector in the mid-1990s, goods traffic on the Dutch railways is carried out by 15 private companies. Passenger transport is taken care of by NS, Veolia, Syntus and Connexxion.

Radio Netherlands / Expatica

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