Dutch railways basically full, ProRail says

Railroad
Railroad. Photo: Qualle / Wikimedia Commons

The Dutch rail network, which spans over 7,300 kilometers, is basically full, according to ProRail. But there is little point to building new railway lines, as there is almost no more room for them, the rail manager said when presenting the rail capacity distribution for 2019, ANP reports.

Trains are running faster and more often in order to cope with the increasing number of passengers. Next year ProRail expects that trains will travel 165 million kilometers in 2.2 million trips on the Dutch rail network - a new record. In 2004, trains ran 129 million kilometers on the Dutch rails. The number of freight trains scheduled for next year increased by 8 percent compared to this year.

ProRail expects less work on the rails next year. The ICE towards Germany will also be able to run faster in the Netherlands, which will save 3 minutes between Amsterdam and Utrecht. 

From 2020 onwards, ProRail plans to schedule the railway timetable in tenths of minutes. Currently the timetable is scheduled per minute. The rail operator expects that trains will run more on time from 2020. 

Over the weekend, NS CEO Roger van Boxtel also said that "we are running against the limits of the system". According to him, maintaining the current level of performance is a massive challenge. "More people choose the train every year. We are pleased with that. At the same time it increases the chance of crowds and delays, despite all the measures we're taking together with our partners."

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