Positive first results for NS 10-minute train schedule experiment

An NS train waiting on the tracks (Photo: TahR78/Wikipedia)
An NS train waiting on the tracks (Photo: TahR78/Wikipedia)An NS train waiting on the tracks (Photo: TahR78/Wikipedia)

NS and ProRail's experiment with running a train every 10 minutes on the route between Amsterdam, Utrecht, Den Bosch and Eindhoven, is showing very positive first results. The trains run mostly on time and cancellations are on par with the national average, ANP reports.

The rail companies are testing this 10 minute train schedule on Wednesdays. Between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. a total of 144 intercity trains travel this route. On average, three of them fall out. That is comparable to NS' national average. The percentage of trains running on time, with a 5 minute margin, is 96 percent for intercity trains and 95 percent for sprinters. According to NS, travelers more often have a seat and platforms are less crowded. And due to the increased number of trains, the impact of disruptions on travelers is smaller.

Behind the scenes, ProRail traffic managers are also using a new approach to solve problems on these trajectories more quickly. Trains are exchanged on a regular basis - a new train, which stands ready at the platform, is deployed if another train on that route is delayed. 

Despite the positve first results, travelers' organization Rover is still critical, according to the news wire. According to Rover, this 10 minute schedule causes problems, especially when travelers have to switch between a 10 minute train, and trains running every 15 or 30 minutes. It is also not yet clear how fast this 10 minute timetable can be resumed if there is a major problem, such as a power outage or an extreme autumn storm.