DUTCH infrastructure manager ProRail has invited tenders to maintain the lineside areas in three pilot areas: Drenthe, Rhine and Gouwe, and Zeeland. Depending on the outcome of these pilots, ProRail says it will contract the other 18 areas in the Netherlands over the next four years.  

This follows a decision to separate the maintenance of the track from the lineside areas so that it can adopt a more sustainable approach to managing the flora and fauna in lineside areas and obtain the right expertise.  

“The maintenance of the lineside areas is not only crucial for railway safety, but many species of animals and plants live and grow here,” ProRail says. “As a large landowner, we want to contribute to maintaining and increasing this biodiversity.” 

Prorail says there are different fields of work, each with its own dynamics. “Where nature is unpredictable and above all needs to be given the space to run its course, track maintenance requires strict rules and standards,” ProRail says.