NS takes steps to reduce winter weather railway disruption

Dutch railway company NS will reduce the length of time it runs reduced services during wintry weather and is taking extra steps to stop cancellations, junior transport minister Wilma Mansveld has told parliament in a briefing.

Last winter, national rail services were reduced 12 times because of winter weather alerts, causing major disruption for passengers. Many complained the reduced services continued for too many days.

Under the old rules, services were reduced if more than three centimetres of snow falls or there is a 10% chance of frost heavier than -10 Celsius.

While the snow limit will not be changed because of the wide variations in local snowfall, the risk of heavy frost will be increased to 50%, the NS document said.

In addition, officials will be extra critical in deciding if changing the timetable is absolutely necessary during the first day of wintry weather. Normal services will also be resumed more quickly

The NS has also agreed to run longer trains on popular routes to stop overcrowding in rush hour. The company’s wintry weather service is based on the principle that running fewer trains will avoid the whole system becoming clogged up and passengers being stranded.

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