Pee on the line suspends services at Rotterdam Blaak

Photo: Niels Pluto

A railway station in the centre of Rotterdam has been closed to replace the wooden sleepers which have shrunk because of the amount of urine released onto the track, rail operator ProRail has said.

Although travellers are not supposed to use the toilet while the train is standing still, the sleepers at the station have been subjected to years of peeing passengers, causing the sleepers to shrink.

If the sleepers at Blaak station are not replaced, the train will no longer fit the rails, ProRail works manager Corné Kriesels told local broadcaster Rijnmond.

ProRail has had to carry out emergency repairs to shrunken sleepers in tunnels at the underground station before, Kriesels said, because the waste is not flushed away by rain.

The new sleepers will be made from concrete and plastic. “That will mitigate the problem,” Kriesels said. It will disappear with time anyway, he said, because new trains no longer release affluent straight onto the tracks.

Buses will replace the train services between Rotterdam Central and Blaak until Monday.

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