Auditor slams high speed train project

The transport ministry has been heavily criticised in an audit office report into its management of the high-speed rail link (HSL) to Brussels.

The first trains should have been using the railway this spring, but transport minister Camiel Eurlings told MPs a month ago it would be September before he could say when the HSL would finally open.
The audit office blamed the lack of control over the project, the complicated tendering process and the fact that safety problems had been underestimated.
It said there were fears that the trains themselves would be delivered too late. It also predicted fewer passengers would use the HSL than the operating company – a joint venture between Dutch Rail (NS) and airline KLM – predicts.
Last weekend, the Netherlands’ other major rail project – the Betuwe freight-only railway from Rotterdam to the German border – opened well behind schedule and heavily over budget.

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