Quiet and powerful, Oerol travels the first kilometers on the Frisian Railway

Quiet and powerful, Oerol travels the first kilometers on the Frisian Railway

With the naked eye it is only visible to a true train fan. Once inside, the train seemed to notice that the new Areva, the WINK, had just exited the machine from the Stadler plant in Switzerland.

The train smells like new and works like new. While director Milfred Hart and Director Martin Feenstra talked about all the innovations on the train from the lane, the train slowly leaves Leeuwarden Station. With cargo points, their own folding tables, individual reading lighting, seats for four around a stationary table and separate waste bins, there is more comfort for travelers than they are used to on old trains.

Newer than newest

In particular, says Finstra, the reduction in CO2 emissions makes the trains “the most recent of their kind”. “These new trains run on some form of cooking oil, or hydrotherapy vegetable oil (HVO). This is synthetic diesel.” This reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 90 percent.

This means that the trains aren’t completely emissions-free yet, but the train is designed in a way that makes this possible in the future. “This makes it the first train in the Netherlands where it is possible,” says Finstra.

The energy released during braking is stored in batteries

Trains no longer have to stop operating if they have been stationary for a while at the station. This is possible because the trains are equipped with batteries. The energy released during braking is stored in batteries. “This energy can be used when the train is stationary,” Feenstra explains.

Areva has already begun adapting the fifty trains known as the GTW to the new design as closely as possible. The look is actually the same. Two of the old trains are also running on HVO as a trial. If all goes well, all Arriva trains will eventually turn into this.

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There are a few differences. For example, new trains have two lane information screens, one containing information about the current train journey, and the other containing the departure times and locations of subsequent lines. Old trains are too low to hang these screens. Moreover, the new trains from outside indicate the number of available seats.

On the new train, drivers have a rear view camera. Moreover, the controller works differently than usual with touchscreens.

Last year, the public was allowed to ponder the names of new WINK trains. They have become historical or natural cultural destinations in the region. In Fryslân, these include De Alde Feanen, Kale Duinen, Thialf, and Woudagemaal. The name Oerol, named of course after the Terschelling cultural festival, is repeated at several places on the train. In the central hall, at the entrance and exit to the train, an entire wall is devoted to the theme. The large round door opens onto a spacious and decorated toilet that also reflects the theme.

After 35 minutes, the test drive was over and the Oerol quietly entered the station Groningen for the first time.

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