Dutch rail company NS on Friday reached an agreement with junior transport minister Wilma Mansveld on a replacement high-speed service to Brussels.
From October 7, the ‘Benelux train’, run jointly by the NS and Belgian rail company NMBS, will have a direct service between Amsterdam and Brussels ten times a day. From December 2014, the number of trains will increase to 16, with high-speed services run by Thalys (to Paris) and EuroStar (to London).
The NS was given until October 1 to come up with a solution following the suspension of the high-speed Fyra service at the beginning of the year.
The cabinet declared the new plan ‘acceptable’. According to finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem it is a ‘satisfactory way to solve the problem for both passengers and the government’.
The NS paid Italian train maker AnsaldoBreda €100m for the Fyra trains and is now involved in legal proceedings to retrieve the money.
Mansveld will present the plan to parliament on Thursday next week.