According to NS, the current timeline is still based on projected “significant” passenger growth in 2019. “The world looks different now,” says NS acting president Bert Groenewegen. Groenewegen is of the opinion that the current service provision cannot be fully met with the lack of colleagues. This leads to train cancellations, disappointment among travelers and excessive work pressure. According to him, schedule adjustments are necessary, in order to “give colleagues more space to be able to do their work normally again.”
For example, the number of intercity trains running per hour will be adjusted from six to four from September 5. On weekends and in the evening, NS only uses two intercity trains and two runners per hour, instead of four. The evening schedule will also start from that date at 8 PM. It was always 10 pm.
Switch often at off-peak hours, evenings, and weekends
The railway company understands that travelers will have to get used to the adjustments. For example, some trains may be more crowded than before. Travelers will also have to change trains often during peak hours, in the evenings, and on weekends. With the modifications, NS hopes to prevent travelers from dealing with train cancellations shortly before their trip.
The official timeline for 2023 goes into effect on December 11th. From then on, there will be fewer intercity trains per hour during Friday rush hour, two instead of four. During peak hours, in the evenings and on weekends, intercity trains and runners leave only twice an hour instead of four times. It is remarkable that NS is expanding the scope of planning on one road. For example, trains run on the route between Eindhoven and Amsterdam every ten minutes from Monday to Thursday. That was every quarter of an hour.
Rover is unhappy with the NS plans. The passenger union will consider advice on the proposed schedule. “We pay particular attention to the fact that the schedule is never below the minimum of two trains per hour, and that there are no long gaps and/or detours due to changes.” The rover also believes it is important that the schedule is predictable and that passengers are well informed of the planned changes.
Rail manager ProRail says he understands NS’s decision. “Now that NS has indicated there will be 10 percent fewer trains next year, we’ll look at how to use the space that’s become available on the track for other carriers,” ProRail said.
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