Tram 19

Laying of tram tracks stopped because of supply problems

The exact gadgets needed to make tram 19 the most robust line in Europe have led to a construction stop. MRDH is looking into the options, but keeps quiet about the planning.

The route of the tram line in construction is abandoned. (Photo: Jos Wassink)

The construction site of tram 19 has been the quietest place on campus in this first week of September. Cyclists and pedestrians zigzag along each other all over TU Delft’s grounds. But the tram route is deserted. There is nobody and no machinery there. It is as though they are all on strike. But no. TU Delft announces on intranet what is going on: there are supply problems.



Dorine Dijs, spokesperson for the Metropolitan Region Rotterdam The Hague (MRDH), explains that two, not just one, things have gone wrong leading to the MRDH temporarily stopping the work. The supply of the compensating cable was the first thing to go wrong. After production, it transpired that it did not meet the required specifications. To handle electromagnetic interference, the improved electromagnetic reduction system (see video below) uses different conductors below ground and in the cables above ground. Effective compensation depends on the cables having the right resistance.

MRDH is now checking various options. Possibly the cables can still be used despite the diverging specifications, or a different cable can be supplied. Else, the electromagnetic reduction system may be adapted to the cable supplied instead of vice versa.

Twee wandelaars en een fietser op de TU Delt campus.

Campus visitors will have to be patient a little longer. (Photo: Jos Wassink)

Fibre reinforced concrete

The second disappointment is the production of the fibre reinforced concrete that ensures a track that will not shrink or tear. Dijs explained that it took a long time to find a supplier for this. The definitive order is now waiting for the results of a pilot production test.

How long these two hindrances will take for the burdened tram 19 is uncertain, says Dijs. “The only thing we know for certain is that the planned delivery in spring 2024 will be delayed.”

Not all the work has come to a halt though. Work is continuing on the reversing loop on the Van den Broekweg,

Science editor Jos Wassink

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