Trains carrying hazardous materials return to passenger lines

Freight trains, including those carrying hazardous materials, will be speeding through Dutch cities again for the coming seven years, the Telegraaf reports on Tuesday.

The Betuwe line, built at a cost of €5bn to keep freight off passenger lines and away from busy stations, is set to close between 2015 and 2022 while the German railway builds a new rail line just across the border.

Goods trains will be rerouted through cities such as Breda, Tilburg and Eindhoven when the Betuwe line is closed. The transport ministry estimates that at times just 30 of the 100 daily freight journeys will be able to use the Betuwe line.

The Betuwe line was built after years of protest by local populations at hazardous goods being sent through their towns and cities. According to the Telegraaf, more protests are expected, particularly following an accident involving a freight train at Wetteren in Belgium last year when one person died.

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