DG shunting at Pernis suspended for a second time

Shunting of wagons carrying hazardous cargoes at Rotterdam’s Pernis yard has been suspended for the second time in recent months.

Infrastructure manager ProRail said leaks in the fire extinguishing system have again been detected.  A ban on shunting hazardous substances was also imposed in December 2023, lasting for three days.

Over the coming week, the situation at Pernis will be further investigated with internal and external specialists, said ProRail.

“Based on this, we will make decisions for the short and longer term. The decisions and their potential impact will be discussed with the parties involved as soon as possible,” a statement read.

There are no restrictions on trains without dangerous goods. ProRail emphasised that the chance of an incident at a railway yard is very small. But should a dangerous situation arise, a well-functioning fire suppression system is essential.

All terminals at Pernis will remain accessible, both for trains carrying hazardous and non-hazardous substances. In many cases, this means extra logistical operations at other locations for trains carrying hazardous substances. This involves about 10 trains a day.

“We can process these at other yards, but it does cause inconvenience to carriers, terminals and shippers. ProRail is trying to minimise the inconvenience,” the agency stated.