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Bring ProRail back under direct government control, say MPs

Thursday 10 May 2012

A majority in parliament thinks the government should take back control of the most important tasks currently carried out by rail track operator ProRail, reports the Telegraaf on Thursday.

MPs are fed up with the operator following the row over large salary rises for its management, the chaos on the railways during last winter and last month's train crash in Amsterdam.

According to the paper, the right-wing liberal VVD has even suggested putting the entire company back under direct government control.


VVD MP Charlie Aptroot told Radio 2 on Thursday morning that there are problems every winter and safety on the railways is not up to scratch. 'Every year they promise improvements, but nothing happens. We've had enough. Close the company and make it part of the transport authority Rijkswaterstaat,' he said.

It is not the first time parliament has argued for more government control over ProRail. Eighteen months ago a majority said the same thing following a fire in a traffic control centre in Utrecht which caused serious problems for train passengers.

The Dutch railways are 100% owned by the state but split into two arms-length companies: NS which looks after passengers services and ProRail which operates the tracks.

See also
Foreign taxpayers are bailing out Dutch transport firms

© DutchNews.nl

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Readers' comments (5)

Remember when the trains ran on time? I do. This break-up and partial privatization was never a good idea. Which seems finally to have dawned on our rulers.

By judith weingarten | May 10, 2012 3:57 PM

Tell me: what is the sense of having one company running the trains and another the tracks? Sure it "makes sense" to cleave off the profitable freight divisions of the Dutch Railways (NS) because then private enterprise gets the benefits. Neither Pro-Rail nor what is left of NS makes a profit - so what is the point of more bureaucracy to have two institutions?

By Gemma | May 10, 2012 4:03 PM

Another big mess created by corrupt conservatives scratching each others backs, the NL really needs more from there so called leaders.

By Phil | May 11, 2012 3:40 AM

@Gemma: Pro-Rail do make a profit, a nicely one indeed.

The reason to separate entities is to prevent a monopolist company favoring its own trains at expense of foreign operators such as Thalys, ICE/DB and the many freight haulers.

By Andre L. | May 11, 2012 8:07 PM

Yet another example of privatisation screwing a) the government, b) the citizenry, c) the clients. When will we learn? QED

By roger thurman | May 14, 2012 4:23 AM

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