‘Rail industry wants to relax rules on tunnel safety’

Conductor getting in a train ready to start in The Hague, the NetherlandsRailway companies, the infrastructure ministry and passenger groups want the rules for train travel in tunnels relaxed because of the number of false fire alarms.

The organisations say train services are halted too often by fire alarms that turn out to be false, news agency ANP reports on Wednesday. ANP bases its claim on a confidential report for the ministry.

The stoppages are reducing confidence in the railways, the report says. For example, fewer people are now taking the train to Schiphol airport because the tunnel is so often closed.

If a tunnel fire alarm goes off, all train services have to be halted immediately.

The FNV trade union opposes any plans to relax the rules on tunnel safety.

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