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ProRail forces gardeners to vacated plots along railway tracks
Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill
UTRECHT – Vandalism is one of the reasons why ProRail, which in the reconfigured railway system in the Netherlands owns the tracks, wants to phase out all the garden plots along the railways. The campaign to rid the country of these vegetable and flower beds was prompted by incidents in which vandals dumped material from the garden plots on the tracks, causing damage to fast moving passenger and freight trains. These incidents also caused the company to review the use of its right of way along the often elevated railway tracks. While some gardeners leased their plots from ProRail and its predecessor NS, most green thumbers never bothered to ask for permission. Many of the plots have storage sheds and cabins, where illegal substances have been spotted, including asbestos, herbicides and chemicals. Homeless people also use the cabins for a sleepover. Most of the garden plots – often already in use before WWII - are located in South Holland where ProRail started its campaign.