News of: Thursday, December 24 2009,

Train service in Holland back to normal

The service by the Dutch Railways is back to normal, after 4 days of problems.

Yesterday there was still an 80% service, but today the system is supposed to function completely.
The last few days the Dutch Railways were struggling with the snow and frost, leading to long delays and many cancelled trains. For 3 days in a row, passengers were advised not to travel by train.

There has been a wave of criticism on the Dutch Railways and ProRail, the organization that maintains the railroad tracks. Apparently, other than in other countries, the Dutch rail roads can not handle snow and temperatures below zero. There was only a few degrees of frost, and the amount of snow was also not really spectacular.

The Dutch Railways say the problems are aggravated by the fact that Holland has the busiest railroads in Europe.

The problems appear to be caused by freezing railroad switches. The switches that are still heated by gas burner are sensitive to these kind of weather problems. Politicians have demanded further investments in the railroads (in electric heating), so that snow and frost do not cause so many problems.

For tonight there is black ice expected - there may be rain, which immediately freezes on the still frozen underground, causing very slippery conditions. Starting tomorrow, the frost will disappear.