Starting this Saturday, the NS will run considerably fewer trains, which have been considerably empty- a consequence of social distancing and the coronavirus. Almost all intercity trains will stop running and trains only run twice an hour in both directions from the stations. The situation will remain the same if a train now departs once an hour. It is not clear how long this so-called basic timetable will remain in effect.
Only the intercity trains Schiphol-Venlo, Arnhem-Den Helder, Maastricht-Eindhoven and Enschede-Utrecht will continue to run in the coming period. The other trains, the sprinters, will continue to stop at all stations. Night trains will not run in the coming period and international trains will have a highly adapted timetable.
“The current situation demands a lot from all of us. Especially now that we know that this virus will be present in our country for a longer period of time, we need to make every effort to ensure that doctors, emergency workers and people who really need to travel can take the train,” says NS CEO Roger van Boxtel.
Only 15% of the regular passengers take the train
Because fewer trains will run, the NS only has to deploy half of its staff. The number of train passengers has fallen to 15 percent in recent days compared to a normal working day. Under the new scheme, 35 percent of the normal number of seats is available. The NS expects passengers to be able to sit on the train at a sufficient distance from each other.
There was a time that this kind of news would surely break the site and cause havoc all week long, now it’s just another measure in our struggle. Stay safe folks!