Overcrowded trains attract record number of complaints

Aerial view of Dutch train at a bridge crossing a canalRecord numbers of rail travellers have complained about overcrowded trains in the past month, passengers’ organisation Rover said.

A total of 3,600 complaints were received in November, mainly from passengers who had to stand, the NRC reports. Train operator NS blamed the large intake of new students in the autumn and disruption on the line for the problem.

The extension of the free student rail pass to MBO students under the age of 18 has pushed up passenger numbers further.

Rover’s chairman, ArriĆ«n Kruyt, called on universities and colleges to consider moving the day’s first classes from 9am to 10am to relieve the pressure during rush hour.

‘This is a collective problem,’ said Kruyt. ‘Saying NS has to solve it isn’t very socially constructive. Universities are funded by the public purse too.’

Rover has also urged NS to phase out trains from the 1960s more gradually. The rail operator has set a target of taking all its oldest trains out of service by the end of the year.

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