Tests with freight trains on Dutch metro line
A new railway line in the Netherlands is currently being tested for the passage of freight trains. The Hoekse Lijn between Schiedam Centrum and Hoek van Holland is the only railway line in the Netherlands where metros and freight trains run on the same track. The first test was carried out this weekend with a freight train consisting of sixteen wagons.
“Despite the heat, the tests went well. We have tested how the freight train behaves during the operation of metro services. For example to see what happens if the train leaves the siding too late. Shunting at Vulcaanhaven has also been tested”, explains communication advisor Joan van der Veen of the municipality of Rotterdam. Next week there will be tests with the freight train all week long. All possible scenarios are tested.
“The freight train changes at Schiedam from the ProRail freight track to the RET metro track. At Schiedam there is a siding where the freight train can stop. As soon as the RET train control line gives green light, the freight train has a free lane in the direction of Vulcaanhaven. The freight train uses a winding line at Nieuwland Station and Vlaardingen East Station.” The Vulcaanhaven is a seaport on the east side of Vlaardingen on the banks of river the Nieuwe Maas.
The Hoekse Lijn connects Rotterdam with Hoek van Holland Beach, both in the west of the county. It replaces the previous train line with a metro line, using existing infrastructure as much as possible. However, the connection remains available for freight services.
The Hoekse Lijn starts at Schiedam Centre and then runs via the existing stations Schiedam Nieuwland, Vlaardingen East, Vlaardingen Center, Vlaardingen West, Maassluis to Maassluis West. In the latter city a new station has been build: Steendijkpolder. The metro line is expected to become operative after the summer holidays.