Prorail and Deltares collaborate on a reliable rail network

Published: 20 November 2019

ProRail and Deltares have signed an alliance agreement and they are jointly addressing knowledge issues for a reliable rail system, now and in the future. The rail network is used intensively by more and more passenger and freight trains.

This increasing physical strain on the railways and embankments is putting pressure on quality. More and heavier trains also have an effect on the spread of vibrations in the vicinity. Those vibrations can sometimes be felt and they can affect the people and buildings near railways. The subsurface plays a major role here but it is also an uncertain factor which we do not understand adequately as yet.

Risks and uncertainties in the subsurface

Deltares and ProRail have been working together for several years to establish a clear picture of the risks and uncertainties in the subsurface. There are joint projects to reduce problems with vibration and the stability of embankments, not only on specific sections but also at the network level. Another example of cooperation in recent years has been the validation of track degradation predictions by using monitoring-train data. This project has also allowed the two parties to get together and strengthen each other at the European level.

Monitoring-train

Arjen Zoeteman and Joris van Ruijven, the initiators of the alliance: “The alliance helps us to find each other more easily and faster, and to deliver knowledge products and tools that ProRail can use to improve and optimise their work processes.” ProRail and Deltares underline the importance of conducting research in close collaboration with private bodies, other research institutes and universities. The aim of the agreement is to provide joint direction in order to address the knowledge questions and arrive at innovative solutions together. Ultimately, this should generate practical knowledge for ProRail and therefore result in the improvement and optimisation of the current work process.

Signing of the alliance agreement by Karel van Gils, Technical Innovation and Innovation Manager at ProRail and Erik Janse of Deltares.

Signing of the alliance agreement by Karel van Gils, Technical Innovation and Innovation Manager at ProRail and Erik Janse of Deltares.