Arriva wants night train to link Schiphol with Maastricht, Groningen
Dutch railway company Arriva has plans to introduce two new night train routes, which will connect the northeastern and southeastern cities of Groningen and Maastricht with Schiphol Airport. The lines could be introduced in 2023 and would initially run once per week, the company’s head, Anne Hettinga, said in an interview with NRC.
Arriva is the country's largest regional rail operator, and has made its first move by submitting a request to the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) on Monday. If approved, the proposal would then be evaluated further by railroad infrastructure firm ProRail and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.
The carrier does not have a concession for night trains but wants to make use of open access to the railroad. As of this year, European legislation makes it possible for companies to provide passenger transportation on routes that are already served by another operator. This is allowed under the condition that it is not detrimental to the concession holder.
"No train runs on this section of the main rail network during the night, and the plan would not compete with NS. If this is successful, the times outside rush hour will be discussed. Step by step," said Hettinga.
In addition, Arriva wants to introduce extra daytime departures in the Amersfoort region. The company is already highly active in Groningen, Friesland, Overijssel, Gelderland and Limburg, among other places.
Arriva, the subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn, is the biggest competitor of the national railway NS.