Almost 5.000 trains in the Netherlands delayed due to animal incidents
Last year, according to ProRail, 1.900 incidents and collisions occurred with animals on the tracks. This caused the delay of 4.861 trains in the Netherlands. This is a 20 percent decrease in the number of trains delayed compared to 2016, which saw 6.090 trains late due to similar circumstances.
Dutch train delays
In 2017, the train delays occurred due to, for example, stray dogs who got too close to the tracks, live stock which found themselves on the tracks after journeying through an open gate, or rabbits who had chewed through cables. At the start of this year, railway traffic around Ommen was halted because there were ponies on the tracks.
In order to prevent animals from getting onto the railway tracks and disrupting the train service, a number of measures have been put into place in the last couple of years.
One of these measures is the 2.300 kilometres of fencing, which has been placed to inhibit animals and pets from reaching the tracks. Natural fencing, such as hedgerows and dykes have also been used where possible. Additionally, pillars that smell like fire have been established to scare off wildlife and stop rabbits from burrowing under the tracks.
Crossing locations are being adjusted to the needs of the animals that are using them. Examples of the types of crossings put in place for animals are: pipes under the tracks, gangways under railroad bridges, special tunnels and viaducts.