Trains to stop in protest at rise in attacks on railway staff

Image of NS double decker Dutch train sitting in station

All trains in the Netherlands will come to a halt for three minutes on Saturday night in protest against attacks on ticket collectors and other NS staff.

The action, which is planned for at 10:30 pm, was initiated by the NS and the railway workers unions, following a serious incident over the weekend when a female ticket collector was pushed down some stairs, kicked and beaten. A driver was also attacked, union VVMC said.

A minor has been arrested for his involvement in the attack. He is thought to be part of a group of youngsters who ran amok on the train between Delft and The Hague’s Hollands Spoor station.

The incident is the latest in a series of attacks on NS staff. Some 1,042 incidents were reported last year, up 8% compared to the year before and the third year in which figures went up.

“We are not talking about an exchange of angry words but about threats, spitting and hitting,” an NS spokesman said.

NS chief executive Wouter Koolmees said he wants security staff to have more powers to access police and national systems to check people’s identity.

“We are running out of measures we can take. We need help from the government. This can no longer be tolerated,” Koolmees said.

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