NS could cancel more Wednesday trains in the Netherlands; Buses and trams affected
Dutch national railway NS said more trains could be cancelled on Wednesday afternoon as a result of Storm Poly. The train operator cancelled all morning trains in the Northern Netherlands soon after meteorological office KNMI issued a Code Red weather alert for the storm, which brought wind gusts of up to 146 kilometers per hour. There were also problems on the roads, and many local public transport providers also modified their schedule or shut down service temporarily.
"It is not yet known whether train traffic will be possible again during the course of the day," the NS said in an update. The company acknowledged problems with its online travel planner, saying it may still show incorrect information. Members of Parliament in the Tweede Kamer lashed out at NS boss Wouter Koolmees on Tuesday for a similar communications issue during an incident one month ago.
The NS initially cancelled all train traffic on Wednesday morning to and from Alkmaar, Amersfoort Centraal, Amsterdam Centraal, Groningen, Haarlem, Hilversum, Hoorn, Leeuwarden, Schiphol, Utrecht Centraal, Weesp, Zaandam and Zwolle.
Rijkswaterstaat showed 14 highways where lanes were closed, with the infrastructure agency having issued earlier warnings to stay off the roads. All lanes were shut down on the A9 from Kooimeerplein in Alkmaar to Heerhugowaard due to an overturned truck. Traffic was also at a standstill on the A7 from Avenhorn to Purmerend-Noord, on the A5 from Amsterdam-Westpoort towards Westrandweg, and on the A8 from Zaandstad to Amsterdam.
Meanwhile, Amsterdam's GVB said no buses or trams would operate starting at 9:20 a.m. due to safety concerns, and most metros were cancelled, except for line 52. "We expect to be able to restart tram, bus and metro traffic around 12:00 p.m. Keep an eye on this website for the latest travel information," the GVB said at 10:30 a.m.
The public transport operator promised to provide new updates every 30 minutes via the GVB website. Garbage collection was also postponed in the capital, according to the city.
Regional public transport provider Connexxion also adjusted its schedule because of the storm. "In the whole of Noord-Holland, we are not operating in the coming hours, as long as Code Red is in effect," the company said on Twitter.
Dozens of bus and tram routes were also facing delays in Rotterdam due to both the storm and planned road work, RET said on Wednesday morning. Passengers were told to expect at least 30 minutes of additional travel time along many routes.
Fallen trees caused unexpected public transport delays in The Hague. Four tram lines and two bus routes were affected, according to HTM.
"Arriva trains from Groningen and Leeuwarden are also not running," the NS reported.
Despite this, another public transport operator, Qbuzz, said it would try to stick to its timetable as closely as possible in Groningen and Drenthe, "despite the current weather conditions."
U-OV, which covers public transport in Utrecht, did not report any problems during the first part of the storm.