Dutch railway expects rough morning rush hour after problematic evening

Passengers board a Brussels-bound train at Amsterdam Centraal, 9 May 2018
Passengers board a Brussels-bound train at Amsterdam Centraal, 9 May 2018. (Photo: Zachary Newmark / NL Times)

Due to multiple problems on the tracks on Monday afternoon and evening, NS expects a difficult morning rush hour on Tuesday. Some of the trains are at a different location than planned, which means that some scheduled trains may not run or may be shorter than normal due to a different composition, the company warns. Travelers are advised to consult the travel planner before departure.

The problems started around 3:30 p.m. when a person was hit by a train at Utrecht Central Station. Due to a failure at telecom company KPN, the national emergency number 1-1-2 was unavailable and communication was difficult. It took longer than expected for a solution to be found and for train traffic to be restarted. 

A Sprinter train between Amsterdam and Utrecht also broke down at about the same time complicating the issue even further. And a points and signal failure stopped train traffic from Amersfoort and Lelystad to Zwolle for a long time, according to RTL Nieuws. 

Rail manager ProRail reported on Twitter that there were 90 problems on the tracks throughout Monday, blaming many of them on the heat. According to the company, at temperatures above 25 degrees Celsius, the tracks can get as hot as 70 degrees, resulting in the steel expanding and causing problems on the tracks. 

ProRail inspectors and contractors are keeping a close eye on the track during the hot weather this week, the company said on its website. Additional fault teams are ready to deal with any extra problems. "We advise travelers to consult a travel planner before departure. And don't forget to bring a bottle of water."

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