Schiphol station one of Netherlands' least reliable stations; 1 in 8 trains delayed

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Schiphol station as seen from the Plaza (Photo: PPP/Wikimedia Commons)Schiphol station as seen from the Plaza (Photo: PPP/Wikimedia Commons)

Along with a few small train stations in Zeeland, the NS station at Schiphol is on the bottom of the list of reliable train stations in the Netherlands, according to a ranking compiled by RTL Nieuws and the website Vertraagd.com. One in eight trains to and from Schiphol station are delayed, and 1 in 25 never even reach their destination. 

For the study, a train is considered delayed if it arrives more than 5 minutes after its scheduled arrival at a station. Of the over 50 trains per hour scheduled to arrive at Schiphol station, 7.8 percent are delayed and 4.1 percent never arrive. 

According to RTL, a big part of the problem is the Schiphol tunnel - the only way for trains to reach the airport station. Over the past years the tunnel was closed down because of false fire alarms on a regular basis. 

The accessibility of Schiphol airport is a priority at ProRail, yet the so-called punctuality figures of the Schiphol station are still not great, Pro Rail CEO Pier Eringa agrees. "There has really not been much improvement in punctuality." he said to RTL. "Schiphol is a complicated station. If something goes wrong in the tunnel, the airport is only accessible by road." Eringa points out that ProRail did manage to reduce the number of false fire alarms in the tunnel. "The situation is better than it was, but it can be better."

The ProRail CEO thinks that, in addition to delayed and canceled trains, studies should also look at the number of people who missed their flights due to problems on the track. "Punctuality is not the most important. It is important that people can trust that they can make their flight by train."

ProRail does not keep figures on the number of passengers who missed their flight due to rail problems. Nor do NS, insurers, Schiphol airport and numerous airlines, they told RTL. Travelers organization Rover stated that they annually get several complaints regarding this. 

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