All trains cancelled from 2 p.m., Many flights scrapped ahead of Storm Eunice
Fewer trains will operate on Friday morning due to Storm Eunice, and all train traffic will be halted from 2 p.m., ProRail and the NS announced. Meteorological office KNMI said it expected gusts of up to 130 km/h in the afternoon and evening. The train reduced schedule and eventual shutdown will affect all national, regional, and international routes.
The decision was made as a precaution meant to consider the safety of workers and passengers. The railroad firms expect that the heavy winds expected will cause trees to fall on the tracks. At the same time, they do not believe it will be possible to safely send crews out to handle malfunctions, maintenance, and technical problems.
Dozens of trains and flights were delayed or cancelled on Thursday due to heavy winds brought by Storm Dudley. Even more flights are expected to be disrupted on Friday, when Storm Eunice blows in from the coast. The second storm in two days, and fourth storm of the year, could be particularly harsh, according to weather forecasters.
Already 93 flights cancelled on Friday in advance
So far, 70 departures have been cancelled on Friday in advance of the storm. Another 23 arrivals have also been scrapped. As of 4:30 p.m., 20 departures and 14 arrivals were cancelled on Thursday, and nearly 350 inbound or outbound flights were delayed anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours for various reasons, according to the airport's website.
The Code Orange storm warning issued for Friday will likely present many challenges to pilots landing aircraft. Schiphol said that precautionary measures will be taken. "We check that there aren’t any loose objects or materials on the apron, we temporarily suspend maintenance works and Schiphol is only available for redirected flights in case of an emergency," the airport said in a statement.
The airport predicted that many incoming flights will be delayed on Friday, in the hope that wind conditions die down sufficiently for a landing later in the evening. However, the storm warning from the KNMI along the coast and in Noord-Holland is expected to last until 1 a.m. Flights can potentially be sent to alternative airports if winds are too strong.
An airport spokesperson told NL Times, “Our most common advice is that passengers should look at the Schiphol Airport website and also their airline's site. There could be some delays, so keep looking at the website and see if the travel times are still the same. It is very important to check the website of the airline you are travelling with to see if your flight has been cancelled, as the airline will be the first to announce that.”
Rail operator NS gave similar advice, telling those who plan to take the train on Friday to check the company’s online travel planner in advance.