Train cancellations rose almost 50% last year

Conductor getting in a train ready to start in The Hague, the NetherlandsThe number of train cancellations due to technical failures and problems with signals and points rose by 46% last year, according to website The website bases its claims on information provided by Dutch railway company NS.

In total, 32,899 services were cancelled because of problems.

Last year there were a number of major technical failures which affected dozens of trains. For example, a lightning strike in March knocked out a switching centre, leading to 961 cancellations.

NS partly blames the increase on tougher safety rules which, for example, require repairs to be carried out at night.

The Rotterdam Gouda service has the worst service, losing 2,501 trains over the year.

Third parties

According to track operator Prorail, 36% of the cancellations were due to problems with the infrastructure itself and over half to ‘third parties’, without going into details. Suicides, however, are known to lead to a large number of cancellations.

On Monday it emerged record numbers of rail travellers have complained about overcrowded trains in the past month. A total of 3,600 complaints were received in November, mainly from passengers who had to stand.

A number of them are preparing to take legal action against the NS for failing to provide them a seat.

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