Invest in railways to reduce nitrogen emissions, ProRail, NS say

Schiphol Airport station in Amsterdam
A crowded train platform at Schiphol Airport with many headed to Amsterdam on King's Day. 27 April 2018Zack NewmarkNL Times

The government can solve the nitrogen emission problem by making public transit a more attractive option with a massive investment, according to NS and ProRail. The rail manager and -company propose that the government invest over 20.6 billion euros in the railways until 2040, for dozens of improvements, AD reports.

The organizations want to shorten the travel time from Leeuwarden and Groningen to the Randstad by making adjustments to the Hanze line, for example. Train journeys from Twente, Nijmegen and Vlissingen can also be up to 30 minutes faster with specific adjustments

NS and ProRail also want to run more trains between Amsterdam and Eindhoven. And expand important stations, like Amersfoort, Leiden Nijmegen and Roermond. Their plans also include modern light rail connections between cities like The Hague and Dordrecht, extending the Noord-Zuid subway line in Amsterdam to Schiphol, and a special express bus service between Utrecht and Breda. 

"Investing in better train and public transport connections makes it even more attractive for people to opt for a sustainable mode of transport instead of joining the traffic jam", ProRail board member Hans van Leeuwen said to the newspaper. The government is now looking at reducing nitrogen emissions mainly in agriculture and with a lower speed limit, he said. "There is also a third solution, one that has been around for 180 years: the railway. In short, keep driving 130, but do it on the track."