Self-driving trains in the Netherlands; they’re coming for us

To increase rail capacity and transport more passengers, NS will be trialling a self-driving train later this year. The train will be tested on the Lelystad and Zwolle route but no passengers will be on board during the trial.

Four FNV Spoor executives travelled to London earlier this year to see how the self-driving trains operate and were pleased with what they saw. Weir, a train driver told the Guardian that self-driving trains are “different – I wouldn’t say aggressive – it’s a little unnerving at first. We drivers err on the side of caution but know the limits it can go to.”

Automated operation created through a computer digital system will memorise train routes but a driver will still be on board to intervene if necessary. Ultimately, when the technology is developed and secure enough, this will allow trains to depart in shorter succession and transport more passengers, which is necessary to keep up with the demand. It is not yet known how this will affect the jobs of train drivers.

There has been a lot of train development this year. Last week it was announced that a direct train from Amsterdam to London will begin next year and an overnight train from Amsterdam to Vienna was announced yesterday.

Are you happy with all this innovation? Let us know in the comments below!

Feature image: Nicky Boogaard/Flickr 

Freya Sawbridge
Freya was born in Edinburgh but raised in New Zealand (cue every person she meets saying “oh I have always wanted to go there but it’s so far away!”). A restless and curious nature has led her to move countries 5 times in the last 3 years in attempt to find a place she can call home. She contacted DutchReview on a whim and arrived in the Netherlands in summer 2019 to start her internship.


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