Most international trains won’t run in the Netherlands on Friday; Schiphol trains announced
The planned strike by the unions representing the workers of the national Dutch railway, NS, will heavily impact all international train routes to and from the Netherlands on Friday. The unions intended to strike primarily in Noord-Holland, Zuid-Holland and parts of Flevoland, but the NS said it was not possible to safely operate a timetable under the circumstances. A handful of trains will still run to Schiphol Airport, but not from Amsterdam Central Station.
Trains from Thalys, Eurostar, Deutsche Bahn, and NS international routes have mostly been cancelled for Friday. Some Nightjet overnight trains that depart on Thursday have been cancelled, while others departing on Friday may operate. Strikes planned for next week could also impact the international train routes.
No Thalys and Eurostar trains will operate in the Netherlands on Friday
“Due to a risk of social unrest at the railways in the Netherlands on Friday September 9, 2022, our trains will not run further than Brussels,” Thalys said in a statement on its website. The international train operator runs trains between Paris and Amsterdam with stops at Schiphol Airport, Rotterdam, Antwerp, and Brussels. However, those trains will only take passengers between Paris and Brussels on Friday.
A similar disruption was announced by Eurostar, which will continue to move people between London, Lille, and Brussels, but will not drive into the Netherlands. The carrier said its customers in the Netherlands should not even attempt to visit train stations there.
The NS Intercity service from Amsterdam to Brussels will only operate between Noorderkempen and Brussels-Zuid. Local trains between Roosendaal and Antwerp and also between Maastricht and Luik will still remain operational.
Deutsche Bahn and Nightjet hit by Dutch strike
Most, but not all of Deutsche Bahn’s train traveling to and from the Netherlands will also be impacted. “Several connections will be affected by the strike,” a spokesperson for the German rail provider told NL Times.
Three Deutsche Bahn ICE trains will travel from Frankfurt to Amsterdam Centraal via Cologne on Friday morning. Three trains will then make the return trip. However, the trains that normally operate between Berlin and Amsterdam will not make stops in the Netherlands, instead using Bad Bentheim as an origin and final stop. The regional train will still operate between Bad Bentheim and Hengelo.
The Nightjet trains which operate overnight between Amsterdam, Vienna, and Innsbruck, as well as those between Amsterdam and Zurich will also be affected. Instead of stopping or starting in the Netherlands, they will go no further than Cologne or Frankfurt. Ticketed passengers will need to use the Nightjet’s travel planner to see if their Thursday or Friday trips were modified.
Schiphol-Amsterdam-Utrecht route will run; So will Alphen-Gouda
The NS did say it came to an agreement to keep Schiphol Airport accessible by train. Passengers will be able to travel to and from largest airport in the Netherlands on a route that stops at Amsterdam-Zuid and Utrecht Centraal. Unlike in earlier strikes, the airport will not be reachable from Amsterdam Centraal.
The NS expects to operate trains in both directions four times per hour until 8 p.m. It will then operate twice per hour until midnight, and once hourly early on Saturday until 4 a.m.
Additionally, the R-net train operated by NS will continue to run between Alphen aan den Rijn and Gouda on Friday.
More strikes could again interrupt international trains
The NS workers have also announced strikes affecting the north, south, and east of the Netherlands on Tuesday, and the central region next Thursday. “We’re aware of planned strike action on these dates. The full impact is not yet known.” Eurostar said. “Passengers travelling on these dates will be contacted if their journey is affected by timetable changes.”
All rail providers said passengers should pay close attention to their respective travel planners for any updates. The NS said it would update its own online guide on Thursday so passengers on Friday know what to expect.
NS workers went on strike five times in different regions of the country last month. When the railway was late with presenting new contract terms, they announced three more one-day strikes affecting larger regions which will take place in the days to come. In a new proposal, the NS offered workers a 5 percent raise retroactive to July, a 2.5 percent raise starting in January, a 650 euro one-time bonus, and commitments to address issues regarding inflation, work pressure, and paid time off. The offer brought the unions back to the bargaining table, but was not concrete enough for them to call off the strikes.