Works on the rail lines between Groningen Europapark and Haren were supposed to be completed by Sunday evening, but a number of setbacks mean that trains will not be running normally until at least Monday afternoon.
Translation by Traci White
UPDATE: 9:38 a.m., Monday, 3 September
Dagblad van het Noorden reports that trains will not be running until at least 3 p.m. on Monday.
Original story follow below:
ProRail, the governmental organisation in the Netherlands responsible for rail maintenance and extensions, told Dagblad van het Noorden that the delays were due to issues in Haren. “We regret any inconvenience caused to passengers.”
Plans to install a pedestrian and cycling tunnel at the Haren station in particular have proven more difficult than anticipated. ProRail said that there were issues with the construction materials they were using to build the tunnel between the Nieuwe Stationsweg and the Walstroweg. The company decided to try and get the section impacting the Groningen rail line installed first, but they were unable to finish the job before 5 a.m. on Monday. Rust removal was also being carried out on the rails between Groningen and Haren.
Knock on effect
The delay is having a knock on effect across the city of Groningen. The Central Station is running rail replacement buses, but the Stationsweg is closed to normal through traffic due to the rail work. Monday is expected to be one of the busiest days for commuters this year because the majority of people have now returned from their summer holidays and are going back to work.
Elsewhere in Groningen, the ongoing expansion of the southern ring road has meant that motorists have had to use a temporary route with two small lanes, which means the road can handle fewer drivers and that they have to drive more slowly. The Groningen Bereikbaar project is encouraging commuters to travel by public transportation if possible to keep traffic jams to a minimum.
The Haren issues are not the first time that moving a tunnel into place has turned out to be more complicated than initially thought in the north. In May, a tunnel at Helperzoom in the city was indefinitely postponed because the soil at the site responded differently than models suggested it would: the tunnel sank far deeper into the soil than expected.