RandstadRail tested for just three days

Council officers gave the go ahead for RandstadRail – the light rail system between The Hague and Rotterdam – even though it had only been tested for three days, the Volkskrant reports this morning. Officials also failed to tell transport ministry inspectors about persistent problems with the mechanics and track changing software, the paper says.

The project was given the ministerial green light on October 26, three days before its launch. Yet just seven days before, officials had been in a crisis meeting about the ‘major daily disruptions’ during trial journeys, the paper said. The Volkskrant bases its claims on documents obtained under freedom of information laws.
The single route (Line 4) which opened at the end of October, has been closed since the end of November after four trains derailed and 15 people were injured.
The Volkskrant says Pieter van Woensel, the Hague city transport boss and responsible for the project at Stadsgewest Haaglanden – the metropolitan authority covering The Hague and eight other local councils – gave the project the green light because it met ‘the appropriate safety checks’.
Independent rail expert Rob van de Bijl told the paper he was baffled that the problems had not been reported to the ministry inspectors. ‘This is the sort of thing they need to know before approval,’ he said. The three-days of tests was also ‘far too short for such a complicated project,’ he said.

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