NS satisfied with timetable amid complaints

19th December 2006, Comments 0 comments

19 December 2006, AMSTERDAM — Despite 2,500 official commuter complaints, Dutch rail NS said on Tuesday its new train timetable gave cause for "appropriate satisfaction", stressing that it worked well on most routes.

19 December 2006

AMSTERDAM — Despite 2,500 official commuter complaints, Dutch rail NS said on Tuesday its new train timetable gave cause for "appropriate satisfaction", stressing that it worked well on most routes.

The NS said 80.1 percent of its trains arrived on time in the first week of the new timetable's operation, up almost 2.5 percent compared with the same period last year.

The introduction of the new timetable on 10 December was a huge operation.

The scheme that had served as the base of the NS timetable since 1970 was radically changed and the new structure works well "almost everywhere".

But there were negatives, such as pressure on the line between Utrecht and Amsterdam — one of the nation's busiest routes. Two extra tracks on that route will not be available until 1 April next year.

The NS is also looking at having more trains stop at Amsterdam Bijlmer, the new station in the busy business district Amsterdam Zuidoost.

Managing rail traffic at the busy Gouda, Amersfoort and Arnhem junctions has also been problematic in the case of delays. The NS is investigating alternative railway use of timetabling options.

More trains have been deployed between Den Bosch and Tilburg giving commuters better connections.

The new timetable book has proven popular. In the week prior to the start of the new timetable, some 110,000 were sold, 20,000 more than the same period last year. The NS is printing an extra 50,000.

Required capacity appeared adequate in most cases. By deploying reserve trains in the past week, 25 trains were made longer where necessary.

Travellers organisation Rover said that despite the fact rail chaos did not eventuate, there were too many complaints lodged about the switchover to the new timetable.

Up until Monday, there have been 2,500 official complaints.

"It is no reason to cheer as long as passengers stay behind on platforms because they don't fit in the trains," a Rover spokesman said.

He said problems from a lack of carriages and equipment are not solved by a new timetable.

But the spokesman appreciated the fact that the NS was trying to resolve the situation.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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