Rail companies criticised for risky timetables in crash report

Transport ministry inspectors are to increase their supervision of Dutch railway firms NS and ProRail in the wake of April’s head-on collision between two trains, which injured 190 people and killed an elderly woman.

The crash happened when an intercity and a local train ploughed into each other just minutes away from Amsterdam’s central station.
Both trains were on the same track because work was being carried out on the tracks and the local train driver drove through a red light.
The official transport ministry report into the crash said the two companies operated ‘risky’ timetables with insufficient margins for error.
Safety targets
The increased supervision means inspectors will ‘control if measures with regard to the timetable have been introduced’, a spokesman told website nu.nl.
‘NS and ProRail had not allowed enough room for the two trains to pass each other and placed too much reliance on the driver observing the red light.’
Despite earlier recommendations, ProRail and the NS still place too much importance on red lights, ‘when we know that more than 150 trains drive through red lights every year,’ the spokesman said.

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