EC blocks plans faster Dutch trains in 2011

The European Commission has blocked plans by the Netherlands to increase the speed of trains on four important routes, according to Friday’s Volkskrant.

Dutch Rail (NS) wants to carry out simple adjustments to the rail safety system which will allow trains to travel at a maximum of 160km per hour from the present 140km per hour, the paper says.
The move would mean faster journeys for around 150,000 passengers on the Schiphol-The Hague, Amsterdam-Utrecht, Lelystad-Weesp and Boxtel-Eindhoven routes.
But the plans do not meet EC guidelines says the Volkskrant, quoting a confidential letter from the EC to transport minister Camiel Eurlings which it says has been confirmed by the ministry.
The proposed adjustments to the rail system would cost €23m and would allow faster travel in four years time whereas the more extensive changes demanded by the EC would require €220m and could not be implemented until 2020, the paper says.

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