Arriva appeals to competition authority for more NS train routes

Transport company Arriva is appealing to the Dutch competition authority ACM in its quest to be allowed to take over 24 stop train services and two intercity routes from Dutch railway firm NS, chief executive Anne Hettinga told the Volkskrant in an interview.

The routes are all part of what is considered to be the main Dutch railway network and therefore part of the package automatically allocated to NS, which is 100% state-owned. 

Arriva, which is owned by the German state railway company Deutsche Bahn, has been fighting for a bigger slice of the Dutch market for year, so far without success.

Now the company has asked the ACM to let it take over more services in a step-by-step operation. Arriva also wants to start a couple of new routes, including an Amsterdam-Hoorn service and one between Zwolle and Utrecht. 

In addition, Arriva wants to take over the NS concession to provide trains from the Netherlands to Brussels. 

The next eight-year concession for rail services in the Netherlands runs from 2025 to 2033 but has not yet been signed off by parliament. In particular, MPs are concerned about NS plans to introduce higher ticket prices during peak travel periods.

Arriva already operates regional train and bus services in Groningen, Friesland, Gelderland and Limburg.

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