Passenger needs ignored in €800 million Fyra high-speed train fiasco

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Other interests were repeatedly but ahead of the needs of the passengers in the debacle surrounding Fyra high-speed train between Amsterdam and Brussels, which eventually cost some 800 million euros. The NS and the State is particularly guilty of this.

This is according to the report by the Investigation Commission, headed by CDA parliamentarian Madeleine van Toorenburg, NU reports. The Commission investigated what went wrong with the Fyra high-speed train.

According to the Commission, the State was too focused on financial returns during the tendering process. NS was mainly concerned about consolidating its strategic position. Both parties also ignored risks and responsibilities.

The report describes an infinite chain of errors, starting with the tender in the 90's, when the objectives of the high-speed train were vague and no clear agreements were made with the Belgians. Then the NS was so desperate to get the line, that it made a ridiculously high bid in the public tender, which resulted in NS subsidiary HSA ending up with serious financial difficulties.

This was followed by a decade-long struggle to get the bid back down. "Achieving good, fast and affordable transportation hereby became subservient to the financial, political and strategic interests, according to the committee.

The commission also concluded that successive governments gave the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament, "untimely, incomplete or inaccurate" information several times over the years. In this the commission specifically names State Secretary Wilma Mansveld of Infrastructure and Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem of Finance.