Dutch converting light metro line to tram (IRJ)

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Thre Amstelveen hybrid tram/light metro line linking Amsterdam South and Amstelveen Westwijk closed on the night of March 2-3, 2019 for conversion to a conventional tram line under a €300m project which is due to be completed by the end of 2020.

The Amstelveen line opened in 1990 as a hybrid system for operation by conventional trams and light metro trains with through running over the Amsterdam metro network, which necessitated bi-level station platforms. Most of the line follows the central reservation of the Beneluxbaan highway and has many level crossings. Despite traffic lights controlling the level crossings, there have been frequent collisions with road vehicles.

The existing light metro trains are dual voltage to cope with 750V dc third rail metro operation and 600V dc overhead on the tram section south of Amsterdam South. The vehicles also have retractable plates to bridge the gap between the train and station platform at metro stations where the loading gauge is wider than on the tram section. The switch between metro and tram operation at Amsterdam South often resulted in delays, which badly affected the performance and punctuality of other metro lines sharing the same tracks. The vehicles have also become increasingly unreliable due to their age.

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Written by Long Branch Mike