How to mitigate risk the Dutch way

I experienced a nice risk mitigation strategy at the Maastricht train station on Saturday, June 30th, 2012, I was on my way to take in the prologue of Tour de France 2012 in Liege, Belgium.

I had arrived on platform 3 on a train from Amsterdam, to get to the train going to Liege I need to change platform, in Maastricht to change to another platform you need to climb some stairs to reach the pedestrian bridge that accesses all the platforms. I walked over to platform 5 where the train to Liege was a departure from, reaching down on to the platform I saw a large group of people on the platform next to the train to Liege.

Getting closer to the train I saw that the train was packed with people and the people on the platform could not get in, there were more people on the platform than on the train. I start worrying that we would not get to Liege in time, the train left and the next train was in an hour, after 20 minutes a person working at the station approached us on the platform and gave us information that they have arranged buses to take us to Belgium, great we all thought, what we did not realize was that this was the risk mitigation strategy by the Maastricht station. Move the problem somewhere else, in this case to Belgium.

A large group of us headed to the buses that had been arranged, I got on a bus and when it was full it took off, we headed out of Maastricht and in no time we crossed the border to Belgium, all of us on the bus felt great we would be in Liege shortly.

We exit the highway at Vise, and took us to the Gare de Vise, were they let us off and we all headed down to the train platform at the Gare de Vise. To put the town of Vide in perspective to Maastricht, Vise is the first town you reach leaving the Netherlands.

The train from Mastricht stop in Vise on it’s way to Liege, all the people from the bus waited on the platform in Vise tills the next train from Maastricht came, the train was packed there was no space available, so hear is the mitigation from the dutch side, they ship a large group of people by bus to Belgium and let this group of people become Belgium’s problem, while they cleared their platform with the remaining people in Maastricht.

To give the credit to the Belgium, a empty train came to the station in Vise an hour later, and all people got on board and we headed to Liege, so in the end, we got to the start of the prologue two hours later than we expected, I got to see the event and in the end, it was all a great day, even with all the delays.

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