HSL Reconnaisance - July 2004
A year after my first the tunnel expo I wanted to see the High Speed Link again. Construction had progressed a lot, but now the site was fenced and guarded.

This report is the first in a series of five expeditions to the HSL. You can find them here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.

The High Speed Link (HSL) will connect Brussels with Amsterdam. It passes a bit to the west of Rotterdam. A few months ago it was freely accesible, but fences and "no access" signs have appeared recently.
Construction has progressed nicely. In theory it would be possible to follow this viaduct, cross the highway and jump off in the Rotterdam Zoo. On the other side it looks as if they've finally finished the tunnel that connects this viaduct to the underground.
The door is open and exploration could be easy. But a guard is busy inside the area. I'll look around for another entry.
Fortunately I'm on my bicycle. You're much more mobile compared to being on foot or in a car. I ride around the building site and try to find an easier entry.
I find this odd 50's building, partially made of wood. It looks like a piece of well-known architecture, but at the backside there's a huge hole in the wall. But the building is still in use.
A bit later I find a deserted park. The HSL cuts right through it and this part is deserted and overgrown. Rabbits scamper away as I approach. The trees are dead. Most likely the change of the ground-water level killed them off. It enhances the already spooky atmosphere.
This could be an entrance to the terrain, but it doesn't lead into the tunnel. A weird garden place. It looks semi-neglected.
I've circled 180 degrees of the site. On the other side the fence is also open. But it connects directly to the place I started from. There's the guard's car again.
After some ramblings I return to my starting point. I find an entry that might be useful. But a group of people is barbecueing in the garden opposite the site. They look like order-loving citizens who wouldn't me roaming around the site.
In the mean time the guard has left and the gates are locked.In the tunnel some inviting lights are shining. But I won't be going in today - in fact - I've not been able to penetrate this part of the HSL since.
But the evening is not without it's rewards. I've had a nice bike ramble, I saw some new parts of Rotterdam and I've seen some nice meteorology:
Cumulus clouds growing behind UFO-like streetlights. An impressive "cloud street" - maybe it's beind started in the local incinerator - maybe not.
Urban Adventure Home Petr Kazil

May 2005