Our work


The Netherlands has the busiest rail network in the European Union. The volume of rail traffic on our 3,500-kilometre network is twice the EU average. Knowledge and effort are required to maintain the condition and availability of the network. TNO helps to monitor the railways and mitigate damage caused by noise and vibration. We use calculations and our construction knowledge to help keep bridges and viaducts safe.

TNO makes it knowledge of railways available to national network operators and to municipal transport companies such as RET (Rotterdam), HTM (The Hague) and GVB (Amsterdam). We recently entered into an alliance with ProRail to strengthen the innovation capacity of the rail sector. In doing so we consider whether TNO's areas of expertise in other sectors could be relevant, for example: behavioural psychology could be applied to help prevent of rail suicides and the theft of copper wire along rail routes. In the latter case, image recognition technology developed for the Netherlands Ministry of Defence could also be useful.

Monitoring, vibration and public works

Monitoring, vibrations and public works

  • Rail monitoring. TNO provided the first measurement system for determining the condition of overhead lines in the Netherlands. We regularly advise on the measurement of wear in overhead lines, and we have developed a system for measuring pantograph wear.
  • Noise and vibration. We are working to mitigate noise and vibration in the vicinity of railway lines. This involves measuring and predicting possible nuisance, and developing measures to combat it. We are participating in the European project CargoVibes, in which research is being conducted into the impact of vibration from freight trains and into measures for mitigating this.
  • Bridges and viaducts. We use our construction knowledge and studies to assess the safety of rail bridges, and we are developing methods for predicting technical life. We also conduct research into the risk of concrete explosion.

Our work

Noise and vibration

TNO conducts research into methods for reducing noise and vibration. The resulting recommendations are based on objective model calculations and at-source measurements, and also on the behaviour of the... Read more
Our work

Bridges and viaducts

Our infrastructure has approximately 40,000 bridges and viaducts. These civil works are subject to ageing, and at the same time traffic loads are increasing. That is why one of our focus areas is to extend... Read more


Eddy Zwier MSc

  • Technology transfer
  • Startups
  • Spin-offs
  • Corporate venturing


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