Trains from Amsterdam to Eindhoven could run eight times an hour to cope with the surge in commuter traffic, rail operator ProRail says.
A ‘timetable-free’ service running every 10 minutes was introduced earlier this year, but ProRail says passenger numbers could rise a further 40% in the next 10 years.
The company produced its medium-term plan on Monday after consulting with train operators and passengers’ organisations. It says a few ‘smart choices’ would allow trains to run every seven and a half minutes between the capital and Brabant and reduce connection times for commuters who have to change trains.
Freek Bos, chairman of rail users’ group Rover, told the Telegraaf: ‘Passengers are having to wait too often for a connection. Eight trains an hour instead of six is essential if we are to solve this.’
Bos also called for car and bike parking at stations to be improved. ‘A lot of passengers travel to the station by these modes of transport. Make sure there are enough facilities, because they have been neglected.’
A spokesman for the train operator NS said more investment was needed to lay down extra track to ensure enough capacity for the more frequent trains. ‘Otherwise intercity trains and sprinters will get in each other’s way and cause bottlenecks’, he said.