A day in the life of our Train driver

16 January 2019

Sean Houffelaar - Eurailscout 

I have always wondered what it would be like to work for a railway company like Eurailscout.

As a cargo train driver I did not see Eurailscout driving a lot, but when I started working for this company in May 2017, I understood why this was the case. Eurailscout does not only operate on the freight corridors, but in every corner of our country and far beyond!

I started driving the Strukton Rail G1206 locomotive with which we push and tow the SIM’s in Holland. I quickly started to realize that this work is very different from operating a freight train. The requested paths are carefully planned in every station so that we can measure every switch in every direction in the shortest time frame. ProRail is our biggest Dutch client and with its heavily filled railway network it is sometimes hard to plan our requested movements. ProRail and Eurailscout have found a way of working together, thus improving the products that are delivered to each other. Complete data from Eurailscout and workable timetables from ProRail. I was very happy to have the opportunity to participate as a guest speaker in a course that ProRail provides to their new time table planners. Several times a year I get to speak with new ProRail colleagues and tell them what I need as a measurement train driver. The aim of these sessions is, amongst others, to give information about the differences between the UFM and BRT at high speeds and Ultrasonic and Switch measurements at low speeds.  It's great to see how this is received with a lot of enthusiasm. But these meetings don't just work one way. For me as a train driver it's very good to know how hard it can be to plan our paths when we, for example, need to run a measurement in the opposite direction of what the trains normally do. With the BRT safety system measurement train this occurs frequently. It is great to experience the cooperation between ProRail and Eurailscout and I strongly believe that we set a good example to the rest of Europe.

Sean Houffelaar, Train driver Eurailscout