Badgers threaten transport in EU country — RT World News
The creatures started digging under railway tracks, stopping trains and forcing long cancellations in the Netherlands
Trains in the south of the Netherlands were stopped on Tuesday afternoon after it was discovered that badgers had dug under the tracks, endangering passenger safety, national operator ProRail said.
The line connecting the towns of Den Bosch and Boxtel is expected to be out of service for at least a week, according to the company. He explained that digging means the rails can “calm down and then the safety of rail traffic can no longer be guaranteed.”
A similar problem arose earlier this month, when badgers burrowed under train tracks near the northern village of Molkwerum, putting a line out of service until at least next month.
Badgers are a protected species in the Netherlands, which means train operators need special permission to move or disturb their habitats. ProRail is now in the process of obtaining a permit to move the animals, but have complained that the application is taking too long.
ProRail CEO John Voppen has called on authorities to speed up the process so that normal train services can resume as soon as possible.
“I note that we have to suspend rail traffic for the second time in a week because badgers are mining a railway line and then it takes a long time to tackle this because we have to get permission from the competent authority “, Voppen said.
“In the interests of travelers and carriers, more space is needed to act faster. We are of course in urgent consultation with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management on this matter.
The ProRail website says the repairs include restoring the track itself as well as the subgrade. Workers also suggest ways to deter badgers from digging in earthen dykes. One of the proposals is to build a sandy mound, where badgers could be moved to dig their homes without disrupting rail service.
However, more measures are needed, the company insists. “The badgers must leave their current burrow. And don’t go back there either. Only then can we work on the track to make it safe again,” said ProRail.
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