Train operator NS has blamed a shortage of personnel for its decision to cut the number of services on some of its busiest routes from next week.
From November 7 intercity services between Den Haag Centraal and Amsterdam Centraal, Rotterdam Centraal and Utrecht Centraal, and from Alkmaar to Schagen and Haarlem, will be reduced at off-peak times and all day on Friday.
Rush-hour trains are also being cut on several sprinter routes, including Rotterdam to Dordrecht, Utrecht to Leiden, Oss to Den Bosch and Den Haag to Gouda.
NS’s chief financial officer and acting CEO, Bert Groenewegen, warned last month that the timetable would have to be cut because the company is struggling to fill more than 2,000 vacancies, in a total workforce of 20,000.
‘The last thing we want is to run fewer trains,’ NS said on its website. ‘But we need to: travellers at the moment are having to deal with cancelled trains too often.’
The new timetable will come into effect on November 7 and run until December 11. NS said last-minute changes were still possible and advised passengers to check their route before setting out.
The announcement comes as rail passengers’ organisation Rover reported a surge in complaints during October.
Rover said in September there were 1,749 complaints, 60% more than in 2019, the year before the pandemic caused a sharp reduction in the numbers of trains and passengers.
September is usually the busiest month for customer complaints as universities begin and commuters return from their holidays. But October brought 2,650 reports in the first 30 days.
Many of the complaints were about work on the line that had been poorly communicated to rail users.
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