More trains to run on new railways timetable

Police officer at a train station
Police officer at a train stationPhoto: Politie

After months of puzzling and work, ProRail announced its new train timetable for 2020. The main change is that more trains will run next year, also outside the Randstad. According to the rail manager, a new planning system means that the space on the track can be used even more efficiently next year, NOS reports.

The new timetable takes effect on December 15th. From then on, six instead of four intercity trains will run per hour between Amersfoort and Utrecht. There will be more trains between Eindhoven and Dordrecht, and between Amersfoort and Hardewijk. And NS will expand the summer timetable between Haarlem and Zandvoort. 

The 2020 timetable also has extra long freight trains. Currently freight trains are on average 650 meters long. The new timetable can accommodate freight trains of up to 740 meters long. According to ProRail, the longer trains fit with the freight sector's ambition to transport more goods by rail. 

The new planning system means that trains can be scheduled per 10 seconds, instead of the current per minute. The system has already been tested at Utrecht Central Station.

While the Dutch railway is being used more and more efficiently, the tracks are still getting fuller. According to NS, the number of passenger kilometers on the railways increased by 4.6 percent over the past six months, much more than the maximum 1.9 percent that was expected. NS and ProRail worry that the track will be completely full by 2027, three years earlier than the previous estimation.