The Hook of Holland line was closed for reconstruction and conversion to light metro in March 2017 with the intention of reopening it five months later. However, the project has suffered numerous delays, initially because of the discovery of asbestos and polluted soil, followed by construction difficulties, and latterly due to repeated malfunctions with the rail safety software.
The project includes the construction of two additional stations and the extension of the line to Hook of Holland Beach. As there are rail connections to several industrial sites in Schiedam and Vlaardingen, the line will remain accessible for freight trains.
The final cost of the project is €462m, which is €90m more than initially budgeted.
The first test run with a diesel-hauled freight train took place on July 1 and was reported to be successful. Freight trains cannot be operated with electric locomotives due to a reduction in the overhead line voltage from 1.5kV dc to 750V dc.
Test passenger operation is underway and should be completed in the second half of August. If the tests are successful, The Hague Rotterdam Metropolitan Region (MDHR) will grant an operating permit. This will allow management of the line to transfer from ProRail to Rotterdam metro operator RET. The extension to Hook of Holland Beach will be completed in mid-2020.