June 20. 2024. 12:41

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Burrowing badgers threaten to undermine Dutch rail system

Badgers have built a home under a major Dutch rail line, causing delays for tens to thousands of passengers.

Due to concerns that the tunnels of badgers could have caused damage to the ground beneath the tracks, train traffic between Den Bosch and Eindhoven has been stopped.

The company that maintains the country’s rail network said the badgers were protected under law and had to be removed before any repairs could begin.

Aldert Baas, spokesperson for ProRail, stated that "Badgers" are beautiful animals but they pose a danger to our safety on the railways.

On Wednesday, the Dutch government stated that the affected train line is used by 50,000 people daily. The affected train line is being used by approximately 50,000 people per day.

To get things on track again, create a new habitat for the badgers nearby and then put a metal barrier along their tracks to stop them returning.

Baas stated that it wasn’t clear how long this will take.

Although not endangered, Badgers almost died in the Netherlands in 1980s. However, they have made a remarkable recovery.


Vivianne Heijnen (deputy minister for traffic, infrastructure and transportation) wrote to parliament that 40 locations where badger dens, also known as setts were located near train tracks.

Heijnen stated that he had asked ProRail for assistance in monitoring the badgers’ activities.

"Once the process is complete, we will evaluate it for improvement."

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