HSL Logistik banned from Dutch rail freight operations

HSL Logistik has been banned from operating freight services in The Netherlands. Its Dutch safety certificate has been withdrawn by the national transport safety body after repeatedly breaking regulations, including running a red signal three times. It’s the first time such a measure has been taken in The Netherlands against a rail freight operator.

The Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) said that HSL’s safety management systems had not complied with legal requirements relating to safety procedures and handling risks, potentially putting track operations at risk.


Procedures were ‘mutually inconsistent’ and had not been followed, said the ILT, which added that the company had also devoted ‘too little attention’ to the qualifications of staff. In the last six months alone, HSL’s trains had also driven through a red signal three times. In one incident a driver had insufficient experience to be on the Betuweroute line, while another driver’s inexperience meant he did not use the braking system correctly.

HSL had already been under the surveillance of the ILT since February this year, after five official reports since 2015 relating to irregularities in the use of hazardous substances. Shortcomings found during inspections had been tackled too late, and insufficient attention paid to the continuous improvement of safety, added the ILT.


The ILT said this ‘serious measure’ meant HSL would not be able to run any services in The Netherlands until it regained its safety certificate. The company will be able to apply for a certificate once it has its security management system in order. HSL launched as a private rail operator in Hamburg in 2003, before establishing its Dutch rail freight division in September 2010. It offers both spot & block train services, along with shunting facilities.

Author: Simon Weedy

Simon is a journalist for RailFreight.com - a dedicated online platform for all the news about the rail freight sector

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