NS trains: Communication must improve to help people during storms

Commuters at Amsterdam Centraal, 19 Jan 2018
Commuters at Amsterdam Centraal, 19 Jan 2018. (Photo: Zachary Newmark / NL Times)

NS needs to improve the way the company communicates with travelers in situations like Thursday's storm, Corien Kotsier from NS acknowledged to BNR. Train traffic was halted completely during the storm on Thursday and travelers were left uncertain about when the trains would start running again. Many travelers were stranded for hours, waiting for a train that did not come.

"That is indeed something we have to evaluate and that we hope to do better next time", Koetsier said to the broadcaster. 

The storm did large amounts of damage to train tracks and overhead lines. Very few trains were running during evening rush hour, leaving many train commuters stranded. A number of initiatives were launched to get people home. Under the hashtag #stormlopen, storm walking in English, motorists with extra space in the car drove stranded travelers home.

Koetsier points out that everyone did eventually get to their destination. "We were able to bring all people home. Not always by train, but also by bus", she said to the broadcaster.

ProRail and NS worked late into the night to clear the tracks and repair damage. By Friday morning trains were largely running according to schedule again. NS now only reports two storm related disruptions. No trains are running between Schiphol Airport and Leiden Centraal, and between Eindhoven and Weert due to damaged overhead lines. 

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