Travelers association Rover wants rail manager ProRail and rail company NS to do more to make sure customers are inconvenienced as little as possible during rail works and breakdowns. The association made a number of recommendations on how to achieve this, including improving information provision to travelers, compensation for inconvenience, and using longer trains.
ProRail wants to ban smoking at all train stations in the Netherlands. If the rail manager has its way, all smoking zones will disappear at the some 400 stations within the next two years, a spokesperson said to the Telegraaf.
ProRail receives many complaints from travelers who are bothered by smokers, the spokesperson said. The company therefore does not want to wait for a national smoking ban. "That's why we take the lead ourselves." The rail manager is currently working on convincing all parties involved to support the plan.
Monday will be a chaotic day for people who commute to work by public transport. NS announced that it will join an early morning strike held by city- and regional public transit companies, AD reports.
The public transit companies are protesting for freezing the retirement age at 66. For that reason they will strike from 6:00 a.m. for 66 minutes, trade union CNV Vakmensen said. The strike will likely also cause delays after its end.
The fault that caused a major disruption to train traffic in and around Amsterdam on Tuesday evening was the result of a software error, which was caused by a unique combination of circumstances after a shoplifter fled into the Schiphol tunnel, rail manager ProRail said, RTL Nieuws reports.
Dutch rail company NS dealt with 117 major train traffic disruptions last year, 29 more than the 88 major disruptions in 2016, a spokesperson for NS confirmed to NU.nl.
A train traffic disruption is considered "major" if trains together had a delay of at least 25 hours, or at least 25 trains weren't running. NS could not comment on the cause of the disruptions. "We do not yet have an analysis of the disruptions. But we will have that at the presentation of our annual report on 1 March", the spokesperson said to the newspaper.
Chaos on the railways during snow storms in the Netherlands last month can partly be attributed to rail manager ProRail not being ready for the winter - work on the heating systems of some 50 rail switches was not done yet, AD reports. "At a limited number of locations, the work on switches had not yet fully been completed", ProRail spokesperson Jaap Eikelboom said to the newspaper.
NS and ProRail's experiment with running a train every 10 minutes on the route between Amsterdam, Utrecht, Den Bosch and Eindhoven, is showing very positive first results. The trains run mostly on time and cancellations are on par with the national average, ANP reports.
Since the introduction of the public transit card in 2008, train ticket prices increased by as much as 35 percent, about twice as much as inflation, according to calculations by newspaper AD and treinreiziger.nl.
Translink, the company behind the Netherlands' public transit card, made a massive 55 million euros in profits over the past five years, newspaper AD reports. According to the newspaper, consumer organizations are absolutely shocked by this revelation as it was always said that the card only covers costs.
Travelers association Rover received nearly 7 thousand complaints about the new NS train schedule since it was implemented on December 11th. That is almost five times more than the usual level of complaints, the association said in Trouw on Thursday.
Rover set up a special hotline for complaints about the new schedule. So far about 3,500 complaints were lodged at that hotline. Another 3,300 complaints came in via the Rover website about overcrowded trains. And the complaints keep streaming in. In a normal month, Rover gets about 1,500 complaints in a normal month.
The extra trains NS deploys during rush hour to help ease the pressure on overcrowded trains, are often late or do not show up at all, according to research done by newspaper AD and treinreiziger.nl based on ProRail figures. Travelers organization Rover calls this situation unacceptable.
Along with a few small train stations in Zeeland, the NS station at Schiphol is on the bottom of the list of reliable train stations in the Netherlands, according to a ranking compiled by RTL Nieuws and the website Vertraagd.com. One in eight trains to and from Schiphol station are delayed, and 1 in 25 never even reach their destination.
A group of 24 Dutch organizations sent an urgent letter to Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Monday calling on him to increase the budget for infrastructure and mobility in the Netherlands. According to the organization, the 10 billion euros reserved for the next two years is not nearly enough
Travelers association Rover and consumers union Consumentenbond's petition against the high service costs on public transit cards is getting a lot of support from travelers. By 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, a week after the petition went online, a total of 49,546 people signed it.
Travelers organization Rover received a record number of 3,600 complaints about overcrowded trains this month. Travelers are upset that they have to pay high traveling fees and then have to face a shortage in seats
Translink, the company behind the public transport smart cards, has millions of euros left over from people who do not reclaim the balance on their expired anonymous cards. The cards expire after 5 years
Public transport companies such as NS, Arriva and Connexxion, are not putting much effort into refunding passengers who forgot to check out.
Thursday morning's disruption to train traffic around Schiphol was the last straw for commuters association Rover. The association has had enough of the train failures that has been plaguing the airport.
Dozens of NS travelers pay an extra few euros every day if they have to go through the check in and check out gates to switch trains.
Dutch officials and the Dutch railway company NS were poorly informed about the way of doing business in Belgium, which led to the cooperation with Belgium being "disastrous from day one". This is according to Arriën Kruyt, chairman of travelers association Rover, in the public hearing of the parliamentary committee of inquiry on the Fyra debacle today.
The many train traffic distortions that occurred in the Schiphol airport tunnel the last few days is a major concern for Pier Eringa, according to De Telegraaf. Eringa, the newly appointed head of national train infrastructure firm ProRail, says that rail traffic was stopped for hours because of issues related to maintenance.
The NS and travelers organization Rover received a record number of 17 thousand complaints about crowded trains between September and December last year.
State Secretary Wilma Mansveld of Infrastructure has demanded clarification of both NS and ProRail regarding the repeated problems on the track. The latest problem was yesterday in Utrecht. It started around 08:15 a.m. and was only resolved at around 21:00 last night.
Utrecht Centraal lost all train traffic for the second time in two weeks due to a major system failure and travelers' association Rover has demanded that ProRail makes some changes.