On Monday this week, a 19-year-old woman was assaulted on a train from Amsterdam to Alkmaar.
Because there was no conductor around, she couldn’t get any help and was groped by the man for forty minutes, reports Het Parool.
With no one around, how can you get help in situations like this?
NS safety number
Since 2020, travellers on NS trains can send a WhatsApp or a text message to 06-13181318 (+31613181318) when they feel unsafe on the train.
This number puts them in touch with the NS control room, which then assesses what action is needed.
You can find the number on the electronic screens on the trains. “It’s best to save it on your phone as soon as possible so that you can use it immediately when you need it,” an NS spokesperson tells Het Parool.
“Of course, we hope that will never be the case, but if you feel unsafe it is better to be able to raise the alarm as soon as possible.”
In 2021, people reached out to the number 2,548 times — 10% of the total number of reports received by the control room.
In emergency situations, however, travellers should always call 112, according to the railway operator.
“If a situation like Monday occurs on the street, you immediately call the emergency services. That is no different in the train.”
As for Monday’s incident, the Maatschappij Voor Beter OV (Society for better public transport) chairman already wondered how is it possible that no conductor was around to help the 19-year-old passenger.
However, the NS spokesperson explains that it’s not uncommon for a conductor not to walk through the compartment for so long. “He can be busy with helping travellers, with a passenger without a ticket, with opening and closing the door. It could be anything.”
NS is fully cooperating with the police in finding the perpetrator.