Schiphol station as seen from the Plaza (Photo: PPP/Wikimedia Commons) - Credit: Schiphol station as seen from the Plaza (Photo: PPP/Wikimedia Commons)
European train project derails; Dutch to facelift Schiphol Station instead
State Secretary Sharon Dijksma of Infrastructure and Environment decided to intervene in a significantly delayed billion euro project for a European rail safety system. She wants to put the ERTMS safety system on the bag burner and instead wants to invest in refurbishing the Schiphol train station, Dutch newspaper AD reports. Schiphol is increasingly struggling under sharply rising numbers of travelers. Dijksma calls the Schiphol problem an example of an "acute problem in the rail file" for which there is no funding. She therefore wants to use part of the 2.6 billion euros the Netherlands put aside for the delayed ERTMS project to fund a facelift for the Schiphol station. According to the newspaper, the ERTMS-project is considered a problem child. The ERTMS will give travelers a safer railway by largely digitizing checks on the tracks, on which more trains can run. But a number of large EU member states, including France and Germany, continually fail to fulfill promises on the 2020 implementation of the system, resulting in the European Commission delaying the plans. The project also experienced problems on the Netherlands' side. The National Audit Service, which checks the government's finances, are concerned that the project will collapse, according to the AD. So concerned in fact that there is a good chance they will not give approval.