Faster train connection to Berlin sidetracked by Germany, says NS

Faster rail services between Amsterdam and Berlin are unlikely to happen in the short term because of a shortage of cash, Trouw reported on Monday.

NS says its German peer Deutsche Bahn argues it does not have sufficient funding for improvements to the infrastructure necessary to shorten the present six hour, 20 minute journey.

There is also reluctance to skip stations currently served by the international train to enable the faster services. Cutting back on the number of stops would save considerable time, but cities along the route do not want to lose the connection

The two rail operators have already agreed to eliminate the necessity of switching locomotives just inside the German border. This will make the journey 20 minutes shorter.

NS chief Roger van Boxtel has been arguing that the train is a realistic alternative to flying on shorter European routes and the Amsterdam-Berlin service is high on his list.

The news is also a blow to environmentalists, residents of towns affected by Schiphol airport and political parties such as GroenLinks which claim train connections are a solution to the problems besetting Amsterdam airport.

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