Railway tracks in port of Rotterdam up and running again after flooding

01.18.2023

Flooded railway tracks in several port yards in Rotterdam have been recovered since Sunday evening. The flooding occurred on the afternoon of Thursday, 12 January, following heavy rainfall and caused disruptions to freight traffic. However, according to ProRail, there are no more restrictions on train traffic.

ProRail, the Dutch infrastructure manager (IM), mentioned that to the Dutch newspaper Nieuwsblad Transport. Among other things, the Dutch IM has hired three vacuum trucks that have a preventive presence in the port area. In addition, 18 pumps are on site in Waalhaven since Monday morning. This should be enough to prevent further flooding from precipitation in the coming days, according to the company.

Vacuum trucks

Last weekend, ProRail used an external contractor to pump away water in Waalhaven with vacuum trucks. Vacuum trucks were also on-site at Pernis last weekend to prevent further issues from occurring. The yard at Pernis had been open again since Friday, and ProRail announced on Saturday that the situation there was «for the time being manageable».

Botlek yard has been dry since Saturday, and there are no more disruptions, according to ProRail. Maasvlakte has been accessible again since Friday. However, ProRail on Saturday still reported «limited siding capacity due to logistical backlogs» at Maasvlakte East, West and West-West.

Several tracks at some port yards had been underwater since Thursday afternoon, paralysing train traffic. Freight trains were detained at multiple departure locations in the Netherlands and abroad. RailGood criticised ProRail for not having a good contingency plan. According to the employers’ organisation, adequate action had not been taken for too long to prevent and resolve problems.

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