Friday 31 March 2023

Badger tunnels under the tracks stop train service in Friesland

A European badger, Meles meles. Photo:

Badgers have halted train services between two Frisian towns by burrowing underneath the rails and making them unstable, rail infrastructure manager ProRail has said.

The badger sett, near Molkwerum, consists of a network of tunnels with dozens of entrances which may collapse under the weight of a passing train, ProRail said.

The track manager had been aware of badger activity at Molkwerum and carried out repair work earlier because parts of the track had collapsed.

Badgers are a protected species and stay mainly in their sett in winter. ProRail had been in talks with the council about measures to evict the badgers and lure them to an artificial home nearby but that has not happened so far.

The train service between Workum and Stavoren has been replaced by a bus service until further notice.

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