New homes built close to railway tracks should be better protected against the vibrations caused by train traffic, given that it will grow in the future,’ according to railway infrastructure company ProRail.
ProRail says it has sent over 100 letters to local authorities since 2015 warning them about the problem but with mixed results. In Delft, for example, agreements were reached about housing on the new railway tunnel but in one case, ProRail has threatened to go to court, the company said.
The state-owned company says local authorities and developers should be aware of the problem. ‘We are making mention of this now because we will be blamed in the future if cups start rattling on tables and cracks appear in walls,’ chief executive Pier Eringa told Radio 1.
Pressure on the railways is increasing and dozens of housing developments have been planned close to tracks, he pointed out. In Zuid-Holland alone, 75,000 homes have been planned close to railways, Eringa told the broadcaster.
ProRail is also taking steps to alleviate the problems by, for example, placing rubber mats in track foundations to absorb the vibrations. However, the simplest solution would be not to build too close to railway tracks, he said.
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