Disposable urinals on commuter trains
Dutch Railways NS has announced that it will provide disposable urinals when a commuter train without toilets is forced to make an emergency stop. Travellers will be allowed to use the empty driver’s cabin at the back of the train.
The measure is intended as an answer to criticism from passengers who were unable to pee when their train was stranded. The bio-degradable disposable urinals come in one model, which is reportedly suitable for both men and women.
Travellers interest group Rover has welcomed the move but characterised it as a stop-gap measure. The organisation says it doubts whether the disposable urinals would actually be suitable for women and said the only real solution was to install toilets on all trains.
The main rail workers union VVMC characterised the move as a “disaster”. According to the union, NS never bothered to discuss its plans with its train drivers, whose place of work would be turned into a kind of toilet. VVMC says it will tell NS management “to find another solution. This is simply unhygienic."
Transport Minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen initially thought it was all a joke, but later said that disposable urinals could never be an alternative for regular toilets. Ms Schultz van Haegen announced in April that all trains on the main rail network must have toilets by 2025.
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