Complaints of overcrowded trains reach record level

Crowded train (Picture: Twitter/@michellekroekie). (Crowded train (Picture: Twitter/@michellekroekie))

Travelers organization Rover received a record number of 3,600 complaints about overcrowded trains this month. Travelers are upset that they have to pay high traveling fees and then have to face a shortage in seats, broadcaster NOS reports.

Most of the complaints, 311 in total, came from travelers starting from Utrecht Central station. Woerden came in second place with 143 complaints, followed by Hilversum with 129, Amsterdam Central with 116 and Den Bosch with 108 complaints.

Rover expects that the number of complaints will only increase, especially given NS' plan to soon take old trains out of circulation, with replacements only coming in in about a year's time. The travelers' organization sees one of two solutions. NS can either not remove the old trains from circulation yet, or universities can start later so that students no longer have to travel during rush hour.

NS acknowledges that overcrowding is a problem. According to the rail company, half of these problems are caused by disturbances - after a disturbance many trains are in the wrong pace and once they start riding again, they are very full, a spokesperson said to the broadcaster. Last week State Secretary Wilma Mansveld of Infrastructure and Environment told the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament, that NS promised to improve next year.

Rail union VVMC told newspaper AD that crowed trains lead to more aggression towards conductors and other railway workers. According to director Wim Eilert, people become irritated and take it out on the conductors.