06 Bijzondere werkzaamheden
 >  Working alongside the railway
Discussion > Talk with your colleagues about it!

1. I am in possession of a digital safety passport


Working near a railway means working an unusual environment. When it comes to road works, a driver or cyclist can quickly swerve or brake if anything happens on the road or bicycle path. A train driver cannot. A train travels at high speeds (140 km/h), has a very long braking distance (1,500 metres) and carries many people (260+). Additionally, driving a train often involves a high voltage (1,800V or 25kV) overhead line. Due to this, you need to take into account the many ‘track’ rules aimed at keeping workers and passengers safe. The most important rules are discussed in this toolbox.

Risks > What can happen?

Collision risk

  • Rail transport
  • Road traffic (level crossing)

Ejecting objects

  • Flying particles
  • Objects under pressure
  • Objects blown away (by air pressure train)

Risk of falling

  • Works on overhead line
  • Maintenance of high signals


  • Use of machines and tools
  • Environment

Weather conditions

  • Electrocution

Works on overhead line

  • Electrocution
Measures > What must you do?

Overhead line:

  • It is prohibited to stand within then 1.5 metres from live parts. There is 1800 V or 25 KV on it.
  • If you do need to be within 1.5 metres from live parts in order to carry out your work, you must take the appropriate measures to prevent the risk of electrocution. 
  • This involves shifting and grounding as per an earthing plan. A plan that a supervisor must draw up. 
  • If the crane or piling rig is set up in such a way that it could hit the overhead line in case it topples, it must be grounded.
  • In that case, Energievoorziening (energy supply) needs to monitor the overhead line periodically in order to assess the risk of electrocution.
  • In case of 1800V direct current rail sections, a minus connection to the rail must be made. Furthermore, a grounding system must be in place in case of lightning. This could be a grounding pin or a sheet pile wall. In case of 25KV rail sections (HSL and Betuweroute) grounding is the only measure that needs to be taken.


  • Yellow helmet.
  • Yellow reflective/safety tabard (train and metro).
  • Safety footwear.
  • Be in possession of a Digital Safety Passport (ProRail. The transport companies have their own access regulations that people need to comply with).

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