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Yesterday, at the rail terminal Lage Weide in Utrecht, State Secretary Vivianne Heijen switched from an old diesel locomotive to the first battery locomotive in the Netherlands that will be used for rail work.

She also opened the new Railhub on the Lage Weide industrial area together with Tjark De Vries. Together with two other companies, Strukton has taken the initiative to revitalize

this area and make it possible to drive trains and avoid the use of 100 trucks per week, saving emissions and minimalizing traffic jams.

Both the market and the Dutch government have sharp targets to ensure we meet climate agreements. Director of Strukton Rail Netherlands, Tjark de Vries says: “For the infrastructure sector, that means carrying out projects and maintenance emission-free and working in a circular way. For logistics, it means, among other things, a modal shift from road to rail. With the rail terminal at Lage Weide, we expect to achieve 20% of the government’s target of taking 440,000 containers a year off the road by 2025. And the battery locomotive will eliminate the use of diesel locomotives for rail work, resulting in not only CO2, nitrogen and particulate matter reductions, but also healthier working conditions.”

State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management Vivianne Heijnen says: “It is great to see how different government parties and the market find each other in these two very concrete initiatives. Together, we are working towards the same goal: an easily accessible and liveable country in which we recycle more and work in a climate-neutral way.”

Railhub Lage Weide

The Lage Weide industrial estate, located in Utrecht, has many shippers (importing or exporting companies) who currently rely on road transport. As a result, the industrial estate cannot grow any further and shippers are also running into limits. Strukton Rail Short Line has therefore taken the initiative to revitalise the rail hub at Lage Weide.


Shifting from road to rail

With the arrival of a rail terminal, companies will be able to use the track that is already on Lage Weide. The potential: transportation of 200 TEU (Twenty foot Equivalent Unit) per week by train. This removes 100 trucks from traffic jams every week, and reduces 13,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. Companies shifting their logistics flow from road to rail can take advantage of the modal shift subsidy scheme, which is published in December ‘22.

New Battery locomotive

Old NS (Dutch Railways) depreciated electric locomotives are getting a second life at Strukton to move heavy work trains during track works. The battery locomotive is needed where there is no voltage on the overhead line. There, a battery provides the electricity needed to run the locomotive. When the locomotive can use the overhead line again, the battery recharges itself via the same overhead line.

Tjark de Vries: “This makes track work much cleaner. Moreover, this ‘retrofit’ gives old locomotives a chance to be used for years to come. As far as we are concerned, conversion from fossil to electric is the solution for many existing vehicles and machines. No waste and still clean. “

Read the full press release on Strukton’s website here (click here),

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