€3bn for new trains but no guarantee of a seat

Photo: Jonathan Marks
Photo: Jonathan Marks

Dutch national train operator NS is investing €3bn euros in new trains, better station information and facilities including wifi in the next seven years, according to the Telegraaf.

‘A third of the fleet will be replaced,’ said chief executive Roger van Boxtel at a presentation of the Dutch railways’ new strategy on Tuesday.

But he added that although there will be more room for second class travellers, ‘they are not entitled to a seat. In rush hour, we can never guarantee it, not now or in the future. We certainly won’t honour claims for a discount.’

The state-owned company is focusing on its core business, the main rail network, learning from profitable lines in Germany and Great Britain, where it also operates.

It is, as reported on Monday, selling bus and tram operations, including bus company Qbuzz, as well as some station shops. There has been some criticism that mixed ownership of station stores will lead to confusion.

‘We are going to deliver more quality, such as enough, punctual, clean trains,’ said Van Boxtel. ‘We want to regain the trust of the public.’

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