WORK is underway at the the Port of Rotterdam to alter the alignment of the Havenspoor Line via a new 4km elevated section, which runs parallel to the existing railway but avoids the Calandbrug, a 345m-long road-rail lifting bridge which is disruptive to rail operation in the port.

The current line is the sole link to the Europoort and Maasvlakte port areas and part of the Betuweroute freight line. However, ships have priority over trains as they enter the Brittaniëhaven area of the port via the Caland canal, which requires the bridge to be lifted. The canal’s restricted capacity has resulted in several accidents and damage to the bridge in the past, further disrupting trains entering and leaving the port. And with both maritime and rail activities expected to increase, the Dutch government agreed to the €300m upgrade project in 2015 with rail operation set to resume on November 8 following a closure of the existing line on November 2.

The majority of this budget has been spent on underground works to relocate utilities. The railway includes two double-track bow bridges, one 176.6m-long and 30m-high span across the Rozenburgse sluis and another 269.1m bridge with a 156.1m span close to the Thomassentunnel. The project has been carried out jointly by Dutch infrastructure manager, ProRail, and the port of Rotterdam.