To view this page properly you will need to install a more recent version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

VIDEO Successful alternative exercise at Amsterdam traffic control post


ProRail directs the train traffic on the Dutch railway from 13 traffic control posts. Train traffic cannot move without traffic control. A back-up for traffic control is therefore of great importance. Last Sunday ProRail successfully carried out a test in which control of the train traffic around Amsterdam was temporarily moved to the new alternative post in Utrecht. Such an alternative could be necessary in emergency situations.

ProRail traffic control

ProRail operates 7,352 points and 11,599 signs on 7,050km of track, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. ProRail train traffic control is to the railway what the air traffic control is to Schiphol. Train traffic in the traffic control post operating area is stopped when the traffic control post (TC Post) is evacuated for a calamity. Otherwise we could no longer guarantee safety on the tracks.

Moving traffic control during large calamities

When it is estimated that the calamity will continue for some time, for instance in the case of a large fire, the decision is made to activate the alternative location. The train service controllers will then travel as quickly as possible to the alternative location in Utrecht. Location-specific knowledge of the operating area is essential to be able to control the train traffic. Therefore other train traffic controllers cannot be used at other TC Posts. That is why all train traffic controllers have to be moved to the alternative location in Utrecht.

Successful alternative exercise

A practise was held in Amsterdam on 13 January 2013 to test the move to an alternative post. The changeover is a large technical and logistic operation because Amsterdam is one of the largest TC Posts. During the Saturday/Sunday night the train service in the area was stopped for the changeover of the work places and the implementation of a number of technical tests. Train traffic in Amsterdam was controlled from work places at the alternative location in Utrecht from the moment the train services started on Sunday morning up to 16.00 in the afternoon. The train traffic, apart from when it was put out of service, was not hindered by this complex operation. The alternative post in Utrecht is unique in the world.

Mobirail's contribution

Mobirail has rerouted the telecommunication lines to the alternative post for the alternative exercise.