NS is calling on Dutch municipalities to implement firework-free zones along and around the railways next New Year's. Fireworks thrown against a window can give a train driver a considerable shock, which in combination with damages caused, can disrupt train traffic, NS said, NOS reports.
ProRail, NS and other stakeholders believe that the railway timetable can be further increased to cope with passenger growth in the coming years. In a joint exploration of the future, they've established that with a few smart adjustments on the so-called high frequency network, they can run trains every 7.5 minutes, NU.nl reports.
New homes built along the railways must be better protected against the ever increasing vibrations caused by passing train traffic, according to ProRail CEO Pier Eringa. "More new construction and more train traffic can lead to more vibration- and noise inconvenience for our existing and new neighbors", Eringa said in an interview with the Volkskrant.
Liander seriously endangered a number of firefighters during a fire in a transformer house along the rails in Hilversum on Saturday, according to mayor Pieter Broertjes. The energy supplier stated that the power was shut down remotely, but when the fire brigade started extinguishing the fire, the building was still under high voltage, the mayor wrote in a letter to the Hilversum city council, NOS reports.
The number of train passengers in the Netherlands is expected to grow by 45 percent in the coming decade, according to ProRail. The rail manager is therefore investing at least 20 billion euros into rail renewal, so that it can cope with the passenger increase, ProRail CEO Pier Eringa said to the Telegraaf.
"People are sick of traffic jams on the road and in the city they are massively rushed into the train. That's great, of course, but something has to be done to absorb that explosive growth."
Most train delayes are not caused by technical faults, but by reckless behavior around the track, vandalism and bomb threats, according to ProRail figures in the possession of the Telegraaf. A recent NS study showed that a third of train conductors don't feel safe when working after 10:00 p.m.
Dutch railway company NS paid a total of over half a million euros in severance pay to two senior executives last year, according to the company's annual report published on Tuesday. The report states that NS paid "two managers in key positions" a total of 566,956 euros in severance pay, RTL Nieuws reports.
All that is known about these two executives is that they were not on the board of directors, according to the broadcaster. Exactly who they are, what functions they filled, why they left NS and how the money was divided between them is unclear.
The number of unauthorized people walking along Dutch train tracks increased by 200 to a total of 3,105 last year, according to rail manager ProRail. These incidents delayed 16,539 trains and meant that 1.6 million passengers reached their destinations late, ANP reports.
According to the ProRail, these so-called "rail walkers" are often hikers, people walking their dogs, children playing or vandals. "They appear especially when the weather is nice and in places where recreation and tracks meet. Think of nature areas or campsites located next to the track." ProRail said.
The Dutch government is making another 25 million euros available to secure unguarded railroad crossings throughout the country. This is on top of 10 million euros already dedicated to the purpose, State Secretary Sharon Dijksma of Infrastructure and Environment announced, according to BNR.
Some of the unguarded railway crossings will be closed, others will be equipped with booms or warning signs. Dijksma hopes to convince provinces and municipalities to also contribute money for this purpose.
The government wants the Netherlands to be nearly CO2 emissions free by 2050, according to Economic Minister Henk Kamp's Energy Agenda. The Agenda contains a number of measures to reduce dependency on fossil fuels and encourage sustainable living. Environmental organizations call the plan unambitious, NU.nl reports.
The train tracks on the Moerdijk bridge will be completely replaced in the second quarter of next year, ProRail announced. The work will take up to 20 days, during which no train traffic will be possible over the bridge
The Dutch government wants to reverse the privatization of rail operator ProRail, NOS reports based on information from sources in The Hague. The government wants to get more control over ProRail by turning it into an independent administrative body under the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, according to the the broadcaster.
Changing ProrRail's independent position as track manager would be a terrible idea, ProRail CEO Pier Eringa said in Parliament on Wednesday. The parliamentarians are considering ProRail's position as part of the response to the Fyra debacle
NS decided to stop using Belgian coaches on the Amsterdam-Brussels route for the time being due to reports that the coach doors sometimes open en-route
The Dutch government plans to reserve an additional 10 billion euros for two years for improving the roads and railway in the Netherlands. The money will be used to push the most urgent projects forward and for new projects, sources told Dutch newspaper AD.
Railway companies create unnecessary risks when transporting dangerous material by train. Chemical companies also do not live up to their responsibility of making clear agreements with carriers about how to transport hazardous substances safely, according to a report released by the Dutch Safety Board on Thursday.
Train passengers can expect overflowing trains during rush hour this morning. Thousands of students will be using the rail transport in protest against NS' plan to ask universities and colleges to change their lesson schedules so students can travel outside rush hour. They hope that this will relieve some pressure on overcrowded trains.
Consumers organization ConsumentenClaim is calling on rail passengers to take photos of overcrowded trains. The organization wants to use these photos as evidence in a possible lawsuit against NS
Some 16 thousand students plan to get on a train during rush hour on Tuesday, in protest against NS' plan to have students use the railway outside rush hour by adjusting their study schedules. This is in attempt to relieve pressure on overcrowded trains.
A massive 90 percent of railway employees faced some form of aggression at least once last year. Threats, harassment and robberies are almost daily occurrences, according to a survey done by railway union VVMC and newspaper AD among nearly a thousand train conductors and drivers.
The Dutch national railway NS launched a new timetable on Sunday. The new schedule features a number of significant changes, as well as the renaming of several train stations.
A strike planned rail strike in Belgium will impact international trains departing from or arriving in the Netherlands. The strike is scheduled to run from 10 p.m. on Thursday, October 8, until 10 p.m. on Friday, October 9.
ProRail is concerned about the increasing number of kids seen playing on train tracks. Train drivers have reported 168 incidents of kids playing on or near train tracks so far this year, compared to the usual 150 to 200 reports a year.
Engineers and conductors are worried about the quality of the trains and the equipment they have to work with, a new study shows. The top concerns are with rails and switches which they say have many flaws, according to a major study by the railway union VVMC.