ProRail aiming for emission-free construction sites by 2030

Working alongside Rijkswaterstaat and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, ProRail is working on a roadmap for emission-free construction sites by 2030.

ProRail emission free construction

Credit: ProRail

ProRail is working with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and Rijkswaterstaat to create a roadmap that will lead to emission-free construction sites by 2030. ProRail is preparing a version of this roadmap for its own rail contractor market. To reduce the considerable amounts of CO2 and nitrogen emitted by railway construction machines, ProRail is working on two important programmes, Climate Neutral and Circular Infrastructure Projects (KCI) and Clean and Emission-Free Construction (SEB). This will enable them to significantly reduce emissions and ultimately become climate neutral.

However, there are some challenges that the programmes must overcome. For instance, emission-free machines require charging facilities. Electric construction machines work with fixed or exchangeable battery packs, which can be charged by means of a temporary power connection on the construction site or battery container. ProRail has an important advantage over other clients, because electricity can be tapped in many places along the track, for example at a transformer building or point heating, preferably green.

The new 10kV power supply system is already located along the Betuweroute, which is ideal for charging e-equipment. There are plans to eventually roll out the system throughout the Netherlands. However, there are still several technical, legal and organisational hurdles to overcome. Partly for this reason, a sustainable deal will be launched next year aimed at green construction connections for emission-free equipment.

ProRail aims to stimulate this transition by giving contractors a tender advantage if they carry out work with emission-free equipment. ProRail will eventually also impose requirements on the degree of use of emission-free equipment, with old polluting engines being gradually banned.