Rail infrastructure in the Netherlands has been in development since 1839. This has resulted in a compact network with huge demand for its capacity. Our own industrial era consisted of rail history for over more than a century. Our rail history began in 1908 with the establishment of a wood preparation installation. Wooden sleepers were produced out of raw wood. Around 1950 this area, called stapelplaats Crailoo, served as a 'warehouse' and storage site for railway materials.
In order to understand our history properly, a brief summary of the Dutch rail history is necessary. Between 1938 and 1995 basically all Dutch railway affairs were organised by the governmentally owned 'Nederlandse Spoorwegen', in English; the 'Dutch Railways'. The Dutch Railways was founded in 1938 through a merger between the two largest rail companies at that time. Furthermore, the Dutch government decided to benefit from this successful merger and to acquire all shares. The Dutch Railways covered not only passenger train services but also aspects regarding rail infrastructure.
However, halfway through the nineties the Dutch Railways decided to privatise and separate several divisions. Consequently 'Railpro' was founded in 1996 and our shareholders were the three largest Dutch rail contractors: Koninklijke BAM Groep NV, VolkerRail BV and Strukton Groep NV. Thereafter, the Austrian company voestalpine Metal Engineering, a subsidiary of the mother company voestalpine AG Group, acquired 70% of Railpro's shares. This is how voestalpine Railpro was founded in 2002. The remaining 30% of shares were distributed evenly amongst the previously mentioned Dutch rail contractors.
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