Dutch ProRail will fight delays with Unimogs
ProRail, responsible for railway infrastructure in the Netherlands, wants to fight delays caused by stranded trains by every means, including ‘push-locs’ and Unimog pull-trains.
ProRail has ordered 5 special Unimog vehicles, to be used from 2019 onward. They can circulate on the road as as well as on the rails and pull broken down trains to the following station. The name comes from UNIversal MOtor Gerät. The first prototype was built in 1946, and since 1951 the brand is produced and sold by Mercedes-Benz.
From now on the so-called push-locomotives will also be used more frequently. “I want passenger delays reduced to one hour maximum when their train gets stranded somewhere in the country”, says Pier Eringa, CEO of ProRail.
“I want to reduce evacuation time at least by half, because a broken down train usually has no heating or air conditioning either, and is also upsetting the whole transporting scheme.”
Last year 2.100 trains blocked the infrastructure somewhere in the Netherlands. In most cases the problem could be solved on the spot, but at least hundred of them had to be pulled away. “We have to do something about this, because train traffic is increasing considerably”, adds Eringa.
“In the beginning we will use the push-locs, but they will be replaced by the Unimogs because they’re more efficient. They will be stationed at strategic locations for immediate action when necessary.”
On the other hand, people who are suicidal or ordinary track walkers, will be tracked more frequently or prevented to reach the actual railway infrastructure by increasing barriers, cameras and sensors along the network. Dangerous crossings will also be a priority.
“In the end, all we want is to help passengers as quickly as possible, be it by buses or by dragging broken trains to the next station, preferably within the hour. The train traffic can be resumed then as soon as possible”, concludes Eringa.