A large part of the Netherlands is covered in snow on Friday. It is expected to melt away quickly, but will likely still cause problems during the morning commute. Meteorological institute KNMI issued a code yellow warning for icy roads, applicable to the entire country. And NS is running fewer trains.
Train traffic on the Arnhem-Utrecht route was disrupted on Wednesday afternoon due to a suspicious situation on a train. A man was arrested around 2:00 p.m. on a train at Veenendaal-De Klomp station. The man shouted that he had a bomb, witnesses said to Omroep Gelderland.
Exactly what happened is not clear. A police spokesperson told the Gelderlander that they received a report that the man wanted to hurt people.
A snow front is slowly moving across the Netherlands, and is expected to hover over much of the southern Netherlands by 5 p.m. on Wednesday. The first snow already fell in the southern provinces, but it had caused few problems throughout the day. Some traffic problems are expected during evening rush hour, according to the ANWB, with about 175 kilometers of traffic jams reported by 4:30 p.m.
The Netherlands is getting snow on Wednesday and that will have consequences for all forms of traffic. NS is running fewer trains. Schiphol expects flight delays and cancelations. And ANWB expects busier than usual rush hours in the morning and evening. Meteorological institute KNMI issued a code yellow warning for the entire country.
While the snowfall may be over for most of the Netherlands, roads throughout the country can still be slick due to wet areas freezing overnight and leftover snow. Meteorological institute KNMI issued a code yellow warning for the entire country.
The code yellow warning is in effect until at least noon. By then most of the iciness on the roads should have melted away, the KNMI expects.
The Rotterdam The Hague Airport is temporarily closed on Tuesday due to snowfall. The fire department is at the airport to clear snow off the runways, but did not have much success, a spokesperson said to RTV Rijnmond. The airport will assess the situation again after 2:00 p.m. and decide whether it can reopen.
At least one incoming flight was redirected to Schiphol due to the closure, according to the broadcaster. A few departing flights have been delayed
The first snow of the season started falling in Vlissingen around 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday. "Nicely according to the plans", Weerplaza said. Meteorological institute KNMI expects that around 3 centimeters of snow will fall in the Netherlands on Tuesday, and issued a code yellow warning of icy roads.
The Netherlands is expected to get some snow this morning, and this will likely cause problems with all forms of travel. NS and ProRail are running fewer trains, Schiphol warns of flight delays, and public works department Rijkswaterstaat expects traffic problems, especially during evening rush hour. A code yellow warning for slick roads is in effect for the entire country.
Rail manager ProRail will be working on the railways around Schiphol airport over the coming days, which means less train traffic to and from the airport. The rail works will take four days, starting on Thursday. On Thursday and Friday, trains from Amsterdam will still be able to reach the airport. But over the weekend there will be no train traffic to Schiphol. NS will deploy buses to replace the trains, NU.nl reports.
Schiphol will be inaccessible by train on January 19th and 20th, due to ProRail doing work on the rails around the airport. NS will deploy buses to transport passengers on those days, NU.nl reports.
ProRail will start working on the rails next week Thursday. During the first two days, trains from Amsterdam will still be able to reach Schiphol. But not on Saturday and Sunday, January 19th and 20th.
NS's plan to close access gates to stations, so that travelers have to check in with their public transit card before they can enter the station, is a success. The number of ticket-less riders decreased by a third since 2015, and the number of reports about aggression decreased by a quarter this past year, the rail company said, the Volkskrant reports.
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.
NS turning its attention to tackling chaos at train ticket machines at Schiphol airport, caused by foreign tourists with no public transit cards who want to buy tickets to travel to Amsterdam. The Dutch rail company is approaching international travel providers to convince them to sell online train tickets to and from Schiphol to tourists in advance, the Telegraaf reports.
The Dutch government plans to get rid of all unguarded railway crossings in the country within five years. No one else should become a victim due to the lack of booms and bells, State Secretary Stientje van Veldhoven wrote to the lower house of Dutch parliament, NOS reports.
Unguarded railway crossings are "just not of this time", Van Veldhoven wrote. "Every accident is one too many", she said. The initial plan was to get rid of unguarded crossings within 10 years. These plans are now being accelerated to within 5 years, "preferably even faster".
ProRail launched a new campaign to warn against the danger of level crossings, both guarded and unguarded. The campaign consists of videos of near-misses. According to ProRail, there were over 3,600 such incidents this year, many of them recorded on camera, NOS reports.
Not all incidents end in a near-miss. A total of 13 people were killed on the railway this year, excluding incidents of suicide, according to the rail manager.
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.
ProRail will be carrying out work around Schiphol this weekend. As a result, no trains will be running on the route between Schiphol Airport and Leiden from Friday to Sunday. On Saturday the airport will be completely inaccessible by train, ANP reports.
On Saturday no trains will run between Amsterdam Sloterdijk and Schiphol, Amsterdam Zuid and Schiphol, and Schiphol and Leiden. The Intercity direct between Amsterdam Central Station and Rotterdam will also be down over the weekend.
This week is starting out rainy for the Netherlands and that could mean a busy rush hour on Monday morning, Weerplaza expects. The weather service expects between 200 and 400 kilometers of traffic jams on Dutch roads. Train traffic may also suffer under the weather, though indirectly through leafs falling on the track.
ProRail is accelerating the plan to run longer trains between Amsterdam and Nijmegen to implement it in the autumn of 2019, three years earlier than initially planned. The route is one of the busiest in the Netherlands, NU.nl reports.
A hurried mom left behind something very important at an Amersfoort station platform on Sunday - her two children. The mother entered the train helping a family member with their baggage, when the train suddenly departed. She quickly realized that her kids were still standing on the station platform.
A collision between a train and a person resulted far fewer trains running to and from Schiphol airport on Friday morning. Travelers should take considerable delays into account, a spokesperson for rail company NS said to NU.nl.
"There are problems especially from the south towards Schiphol", the spokesperson said. "There are far fewer trains from the direction of Rotterdam."
Passengers departing from Amsterdam, The Hague, Leiden and Zaandam can also take delays into account. The problems are expected to persist until at least 9:30 a.m., according to the NS site.
Rotterdam Central Station was evacuated for a short time on Monday morning after an automatic fire alarm was triggered. Hundreds of people were sent outside while the fire department investigated, NOS reports.
The fire brigade found no problems in the station. The fire department believes the alarm was triggered by repair work being done at the station, according to the broadcaster. The station was opened to the public a short time later.
According to NS, the false alarm had no consequences for train traffic.
Train traffic from Schiphol to Amersfoort was halted for a short time on Wednesday after an explosive was found near the tracks in Laren. Defense's explosives disposal team cleared it away, Het Parool reports.
The explosive experts believe it is an old explosive, likely dating from World War II. According to the police, there is no danger for local residents or the environment.
The explosive was found near Doctor Albert Schweitzerweg by people working on the railway.
Train traffic restarted around 2:30 p.m., about an hour after it was halted.
Arnhem Central Station was briefly evacuated on Wednesday morning after a fire alarm in the station went off. A manual fire alarm was pulled in the public transport terminal, a spokesperson for the fire brigade said to Omroep Gelderland.
As a precaution, NS decided to evacuate the entire station and halt train traffic to and from Arnhem.
The fire department investigated and found no sign of fire. The building was declared safe around 10:30 a.m. and travelers were allowed to enter the station. Train traffic was restarted and was largely back on schedule around 11:15 a.m.