The Ten-Minute Train: Can this Dutch Train Schedule work?

To be fair, despite struggling with fall and a really bad purchase of Italian trains, the Dutch train schedule actually is still one of the tightest trains schedules globally, competing with countries like Japan. Think about that, Japan! Where people do stuff like this:


Anyway – enough admiration for Nippon now, we’ve got a train to catch! And the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Netherlands Railroads) is now officially introducing the Ten-Minute Train beginning December. This new Dutch train schedule (which it actually isn’t) will relieve many of us of that one single stress – “When is the next one going?!”. Guess what? Ten minutes from now, stupid!

Trials and Results of the New Dutch Train Schedule

The NS has been running trials since September, every Wednesday between 7AM and 4PM a 144 Intercity trains have thundered down the tracks at a surprisingly accurate schedule. On a daily basis of 144 trains, only three trains were canceled from their schedule, compare that to any civil airport and you can picture just how tight that is.

What’s more 96% of Intercity trains and 95% of Sprinter-type trains made their exact schedule within a five minute margin – sweet! And that comes with a little bonus, because the trains are doing so well, it allows for a much smoother flow of passengers. This means both less crowding on the station and inside the train, for the first time since the extinction of the mammoth Dutch passengers will be able to have a seat in a train without having to fight a sabretooth tiger or a giant sloth first! There will be 130 more trains on the tracks every workday.

Criticism – It’s Not All Great!

Rover, the consumer organization for train passengers, does have some criticism – a ten minute schedule doesn’t always match the schedule of other trains. A lot of trains will still be running a fifteen or even thirty minute schedule, which makes it easy to miss a connection and still having to wait quite a while for the next one to arrive. So a little bit of planning ahead of time is still advised, at least if you’re using trains outside of the “Ten-Minute” routes.

December 10th the new schedule will make its appearance, requiring most adjustments around the Den-Bosch region – including direct lines to Dordrecht and Arnhem. Unfortunately, people in or traveling through the small city of Tiel will be feeling the brunt of this new schedule – their waiting times have increased by eighteen minutes. Ouch…

In the end this is likely a positive development, now just to fix those leaves during fall – maybe we could release trained squirrels to remove them from the trees before they hit the tracks? We already trained an eagle to attack drones!

Bobby Salomons
Bobby Salomons is an Amsterdam-based published author and movie-blogger holding up too many balls to juggle at once. Suffering from Tortured Artist-syndrome he is left with no choice or hope until eventually breaking through.


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