Strike to cause “major hindrance” to train traffic throughout Monday, NS fears

NS train in snow, winter
NS train on a foggy winter day in Oostvaardersplassen. 23 Jan. 2018photo: kruwt / DepositPhotos

National railway NS fears that an early morning strike by its employees on Monday will cause “major hindrance” to train traffic all day. The timetable will be disrupted all day long if no trains run before 7:06 a.m., according to the rail company.

NS employees, as well as employees of city and regional public transit companies in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague, will strike for 66 minutes on Monday morning. The strike will start at 6:00 a.m. - the start of the NS timetable - and end at 7:06 a.m. The public transit workers demand that the retirement age be frozen at 66 years, hence the 66 minute long strike.

NS can not yet estimate how big a disruption the strike will cause to the rest of the day’s train traffic. That will depend on the number of stops where staff will strike, a spokesperson said to NU.nl. NS says it understands its employees’ concerns about retirement, but “thinks it is a shame that a measure has been chosen that will certainly hinder our travelers.”

So far strikes are planned in the cities of Den Helder, Hoorn, Alkmaar, Enkhuizen, Utrecht, Zwolle, The Hague, Hengelo, Enschede, Arnhem, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Maastricht and Heerlen. Unions FNV, CNV and VVMC are participating in the strike. They expect that the number of strike locations will increase over the weekend.

CEO Roger van Boxtel said that “we will have trouble running trains on time all day”, according to the newspaper. “I think that’s a shame, because we like to offer the best train ride.” Van Boxtel promised that NS will try to “start as well as possible, as soon as the strike is over.”

NS advises travelers to keep an eye on current travel information through its site or app throughout Monday.

The traffic service of the ANWB warns that the strike will likely cause an extra busy morning rush hour on the roads on Monday. “We know from experience that people take the car as a precaution in these types of actions”, a spokesperson said to NU.nl.

 

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