Railway company Arriva, which operates regional train and bus services in the north and east of the country, and in Limburg, hopes to start running night train services to Schiphol airport in 2023 and has started the process to do so.
Arriva, owned by the German state railway company Deutsche Bahn, has now submitted a request to the consumer and markets authority ACM, requesting permission to run night trains. Once the ACM has taken a decision, it will be up to the infrastructure ministry and track operating company ProRail.
Director Anne Hettinga told the NRC in an interview that Arriva wanted to make use of new European legislation which makes it possible to operate services on tracks which already have a concession holder – on the condition it does not disadvantage them.
‘There are no trains on this part of the main railway network at night and this plan is not competing with the NS,’ Hettinga said. ‘If this works, then more off-peak periods will be looked at, step by step.’
Arriva is keen to break the NS monopoly on the main railway network and Hettinga told the NRC that the Dutch government is not doing enough to introduce market forces into railway travel.
The NS and ProRail are both owned by the Dutch state.
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