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.
NS is running fewer intercity trains on Friday due to the heat. Prolonged exposure to the high temperatures means that trains need to be serviced more often, and that the maintenance takes longer to perform, a spokesperson for the Dutch rail company said to AD.
NS is running fewer trains on three busy routes - the high speed line between Amsterdam, Schiphol and Rotterdam, between Amsterdam and Eindhoven, and between Eindhoven and Heerlen. The rail company is dealing with capacity problems because trains were exposed to the heat for a long time on Wednesday and therefore need extra maintenance on Thursday, an NS spokesperson said to AD.
More and more Dutch people are taking the train. NS saw its number of passengers increase by nearly 3 percent last year. On average, 1.3 million people took the train each working day last year, 100 thousand more than in 2016, AD reports.
Remarkably, the number of weekend travelers saw a stronger increase than weekday travelers. On Saturdays and Sundays, 4.2 percent more people took the train in 2018 than in 2017. During the weekdays, passenger numbers increased by 2.2 percent. That brings NS' total passenger growth for 2018 to 2.7 percent.
Due to multiple problems on the tracks on Monday afternoon and evening, NS expects a difficult morning rush hour on Tuesday. Some of the trains are at a different location than planned, which means that some scheduled trains may not run or may be shorter than normal due to a different composition, the company warns. Travelers are advised to consult the travel planner before departure.
No train traffic is currently possible between Schiphol Airport and Utrecht Central Station due to a signals failure, NS reports on its website. The Dutch rail company expects to have the problem resolved by 9:00 a.m.
The problem was discovered at around 6:00 a.m., at the start of the NS timetable, according to NOS.
NS did not say whether buses were deployed to transport stranded passengers.
Meteorological institute KNMI escalated its warning for thunderstorms set to hit the Netherlands this afternoon to code orange. "As the storm front crosses the country, it increases in intensity. That is why a code orange applies", the meteorological institute said.
ProRail started doing adjustments to the tracks between Haarlem and Zandvoort, to prepare for the thousands of Formula 1 fans expected to attend the Grand Prix in Zandvoort next year. In the coming year a mountain of work needs to be done, but ProRail expects it to succeed. "We're doing it at F1 speed", the rail manager said in a statement.
The thunderstorms that crossed the Netherlands on Tuesday night caused damage throughout the country. Dozens of reports were received, most regarding fallen trees or roofs being blown from houses. One person was hospitalized after a tree fell on a moving car, NOS reports.
Sunday was both the first national tropical day of the year for the Netherlands, and the hottest June 2nd ever measured in the country. Temperatures at the national weather station in De Bilt climbed to 30 degrees at around 4:00 p.m., breaking the previous record of 29.5 degrees dating from 1947, according to Weerplaza.
Many Dutch decided to make use of the warm weather by going to the beach, leading to many traffic jams. People heading to the beach quickly became stuck in traffic on the A20 towards Hoek van Holland and the N201 towards Zandvoort early on Sunday, NU.nl reports.
After a nationwide 24-hour long strike on Tuesday, public transit employees are back at work. The transit companies managed to restart their services without major issues.
NS reports no strike-related faults or delays on its website. The only delays reported have to do with planned track maintenance on the Leeuwarden-Meppel route, which will last until Sunday.
NS advises travelers not to depend on train traffic on Tuesday, due to a nationwide public transit strike for a better pension system. The Dutch rail company expects that the strike will result in little to no trains running on Tuesday. NS warns of "serious nuisance" for passengers.
Stormy weather caused a lot of problems in the eastern parts of the Netherlands on Sunday. Streets in multiple towns flooded and a lightning strike brought train traffic between Zwolle and Olst to a halt. Lightning strikes also caused a number of small fires, RTL Nieuws reports.
Meteorological institute KNMI issued a code yellow warning for the eastern half of the Netherlands on Sunday, warning of lightning strikes and large amounts of rainfall. Some places also faced large hailstones.
Rail manager ProRail is going to invest 3.5 billion euros into building more train stations and renewing and modernizing existing ones over the next 10 years, ProRail CEO Pier Eringa announced with the rail manager's annual figures on Wednesday, NU.nl reports.
More train stations need to be built, especially as more and more residential areas are being built. Many municipalities already asked for their 'own' station, Eringa said. According to ProRail, there is room for about 20 new train stations, but they will only be built after negotiations with governments and financiers.
Train traffic on a number of busy routes in the Randstad is heavily disrupted on Tuesday due to a broken overhead line on the tracks between Weesp and Amsterdam-Zuid. The problems will persist until at least 5:00 p.m., according to NS.
The Dutch railways will need substantial renovations in the coming years, otherwise it won't be able to handle the expected 40 percent passenger growth after 2030, ProRail warns. If nothing is done, the rail manager expects significant capacity problems around Schiphol and Amsterdam, NU.nl reports.
Train traffic around Amsterdam and Utrecht is currently seriously disrupted due to a train colliding with a person. NS warns of severe delays that will last at least until 12:30 p.m.
A power outage halted train traffic between Eindhoven and Boxtel for hours on Sunday afternoon. This caused chaotic situations at the train stations in Den Bosch and Eindhoven, with travelers complaining on social media about being stranded. Some travelers were stuck at the stations for over three hours, NU.nl reports.
A mother and child had a very near miss in Breda on Sunday afternoon when their car stalled on a railway crossing. They managed to get out of the car just seconds before it was hit by a train. No one was injured.
The accident happened on a railway crossing on Steenakkerstraat, the Breda police said on Twitter. The train dragged the car for around 500 meters before both vehicles came to a stand still, NOS reports. The car was completely destroyed.
Employees of various sectors are striking for better pensions and to freeze the retirement age at 66 throughout the Netherlands on Monday. The first and most disrupting strike was in public transit between 6:00 a.m. and 7:06 a.m. During that time no NS trains were running, as well as no trams, subways and buses in Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam.
A Deutsche Bahn train was derailed by a fallen tree in Enschede on Wednesday evening. The salvage and cleanup work will likely take all day, according to rail manager ProRail. Currently no train traffic is possible between Enschede and Gronau, Germany, NU.nl reports.
The tree fell onto the tracks due to the bad weather conditions. The German train collided with it and derailed, ProRail reported on Twitter at around 8:20 p.m. None of the 35 passengers on board were hurt.
With an average wind speed of 9 on the Beaufort scale in Vlissingen, the first official spring storm of the year became a fact on Sunday. Local safety offices in Noord-Brabant and Zeeland received dozens of damage reports. In Limburg train traffic was halted because of fallen trees on the tracks. And Eindhoven Airport had to temporarily keep all flights on the ground.
Strong winds are blowing in the Netherlands on Monday morning, with gusts up to 90 kilometers per hour inland and 100 kilometers per hour along the coast. Meteorological institute KNMI issued a code yellow weather warning for the entire country. The winds are already causing problems in all forms of traffic.
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.