Dutch trains are too short - report

29th August 2006, Comments 0 comments

29 August 2006, AMSTERDAM — A thousand of the 5,000 train journeys made by Dutch rail company NS daily are carried out trains that are too short.

29 August 2006

AMSTERDAM — A thousand of the 5,000 train journeys made by Dutch rail company NS daily are carried out trains that are too short.

Of these 1,000 trains, there is a 'serious shortage' in 400 and another 50 are considered to be 'crisis trains', Head of Planning Léon Jansen wrote to production director Nol Groot in an internal memo.

The document, which was leaked to the media, stated that the NS is particularly stretched at peak times because "everything is deployed". Dealing with one bottleneck during peak hours means enlarging the shortage elsewhere, Jansen wrote.

Apart from the shortage of rolling stock, NS also anticipates a greater personnel shortage that was earlier forecast. Jansen said the staffing problems have been exacerbated by the agreement with the consumers group Locov to have more train services at the beginning and end of the timetable.

NS has been looking for some time to buy or lease more carriages to deal with the shortage in material. It is also working to deploy its rolling stock more effectively. "We constantly vary [the make-up of] our trains to achieve the optimal occupancy rate," a spokesperson for the company said.

It has 2,700 carriages with a total of 240,000 seats. Approximately 1.1 million people travel by train on an average working day, giving an average occupancy rate of 30 percent.

Roel Berghuis of trade union FNV Bondgenoten said the internal memo is a warning to the management that something has to be done to ensure NS can implement its new timetable.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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