Dutch railways in secret talks to sell Qbuzz to the French: Telegraaf

qbuzz busDutch state railway company NS is in secret talks to sell its bus firm Qbuzz to the French state railway company, the Telegraaf says on Wednesday.

In return, NS wants shares in the Thalys high-speed train company which is dominated by the SNCF, the paper says.

Experts quoted by the Telegraaf say they do not understand why the NS does not abandon Qbuzz altogether and invest the money instead in improving rail services.

‘On the one hand, the NS is selling a Dutch company to the French, giving them a foothold in the Netherlands,’ one source told the paper. ‘On the other, the NS will never have any say in Thalys. The SNCF holds all the cards and a 60% stake.’

The decision to ditch Qbuzz follows a corruption scandal earlier this year in connection with the regional bus contract in Limburg.

SNCF already owns the Dutch train company Syntus, which runs regional train services in Gelderland, Overijssel and Twente.

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