Extreme heat: Code red at Dutch railway and National Heat Plan in place!

Extreme heat: Code red at Dutch railway and National Heat Plan in place!

The coming days are going to be extremely hot in the Netherlands, with some places possibly even reaching highs of 40C! With this in mind, code orange has been issued across the country from today, code red for the railway and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) Heat Plan has been activated.

Extreme temperatures in the Netherlands

The next few days are going to be scorchers in the Netherlands, with temperatures above 35C expected, and even 40C in some parts of the country. Because of this, the RIVM’s Heat Plan has been put in place.

It’s a good idea to avoid the sun between 1pm and 4pm this week, as the possibility of becoming burnt or dehydrated is great. If you do venture outside during these hours, make sure you drink plenty of water and protect your skin, as with the current UV Index at 7 / 8, you can burn within 15 minutes.

As for the nights, expect trouble sleeping, as temperatures above 20C mean we will be having tropical nights. Check out our tips on how to sleep in a heatwave to help you get some shuteye. Also, if you fancy cooling off with a swim, be sure to check out where you can swim in Amsterdam and to see whether that outdoor spot you have your eye on is safe.

Code red for Dutch railways

This week it is not only code orange for us, but also code red for railways in the country. This is due to the fact that when the temperature gets above 25C, the train tracks may actually heat up to 70C and expand. Expanding train tracks can lead to kinks and trains may then come to a standstill. People taking the train this week should keep in mind that there may be more delays.

ProRail has brought in extra technicians to help quickly find and fix possible problems. Should a train come to a standstill, the air-conditioning may stop working. In this case, the extra personnel will help evacuate passengers as quickly as possible. Moreover, to help stranded passengers, vehicles carrying bottles of water will be going around handing out said bottles.

If you are thirsty, you can also fill up your water bottle for free at around 90 NS stations. In terms of trains, NS will be using as many modern Sprinters with air-conditioning as possible and deploying extra trains on the route Amsterdam – Zandvoort, so those who need to cool off can take a dip in the sea.

Advice for drivers

The Heat Protocol has been activated for those stranded on the roads. Should this happen, those stranded will be taken as quickly as possible to a safe location, such as a gas station or car park so that they don’t have to wait for help in the hot sun.

The Road Service does, however, advise that if you are taking the car, you take an umbrella with you to protect you from the sun and enough water. Additionally, they point out that no cigarettes or rubbish should be thrown into the road shoulders. Not only is this illegal, but also seeing as it is so hot, the possibility of causing a fire is very real.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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Adriana Bernavschi 20:37 | 24 July 2019

Another way to have fresh cool air in the room is to hang some wet sheet on a open window, the air that comes in will be filled with cold drops and so go cooler.