ProRail must make rail works more customer-friendly: travelers' association

Rail works around the Naarden-Bussum station, 5 August 2019
Rail works around the Naarden-Bussum station, 5 August 2019Photo: ProRail/Twitter

Travelers association Rover wants rail manager ProRail and rail company NS to do more to make sure customers are inconvenienced as little as possible during rail works and breakdowns. The association made a number of recommendations on how to achieve this, including improving information provision to travelers, compensation for inconvenience, and using longer trains.

Rover came up with these suggestions after analyzing complaints received from travelers during large-scale rail works around Leiden in April. According to the association, travelers regularly complained about a lack of information. "Travel information is not just about alternative routes, but also about explaining the work" Rover director Freek Bos said. "Travelers have good understanding for maintenance, as long as they know what the work is for and why fewer trains are running"

The travel association thinks that ProRail and NS should use longer trains on routes where fewer trains are running due to rail works. Rover also believes that travelers should be compensated for major inconvenience - "with more than a cup of coffee". And that ProRail and NS should make sure that travelers are informed of upcoming rail works well ahead of time - not only online, but also with flyers and reports on the radio and television.  

NS told the Telegraaf that the inconvenience for travelers is "sometimes too bad". The rail company blamed it on ProRail and the government, for planning too many rail works during the day. ProRail told the newspaper that it will "go the extra mile" in providing information to travelers. 

This month, rail works are happening around Naarden-Bussum and Weesp, and again in Leiden starting on August 15th, according to Rover.