Failing backup system behind Sunday's train shutdown
The problems on the railways on Sunday were partly due to NS's backup system not working, State Secretary Vivianne Heijnen (Infrastructure) said in a letter to parliament. The planning system for equipment and personnel broke down but can usually fall back on a backup. Why the backup failed on Sunday "will be thoroughly investigated."
NS considered it irresponsible to continue running without the system on Sunday and shut down rail traffic completely. But according to the trade unions, it was possible to keep going. The material was available, and drivers could have used signals to see whether they could drive, Henri Janssen of FNV Spoor said.
Heijnen was very critical of how NS handled the situation on Sunday, calling it a "very wrong turn." She demanded an explanation, including why the rail company did not arrange alternative transport. Heijnen wants the NS management to explain "how it will ensure that this does not happen again in the future."
Train traffic was halted almost all of Sunday. According to NS, it was impossible to use buses, for example, due to the scope of the outage. Heijnen told parliament that she received no signals that stranded travelers had to spend the night at train stations. NS will compensate passengers, but what that will look like is still being worked out, the State Secretary said.
Reporting by ANP