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Collaboration in the context of scheduled and unscheduled withdrawals

The Dutch railway system requires a considerable amount of maintenance, which inevitably results in train withdrawals. NS and ProRail have made agreements regarding the permissible amount of inconvenience due to maintenance. However, these agreements have come under pressure, as the amount of work for railway construction and maintenance is increasing and can no longer be carried out solely at times when passenger numbers are low, such as in the evenings and at night. In addition, ProRail wishes to utilise the available capacity of contractors as effectively and cost-efficiently as possible by spreading the work. In order to prevent disproportional inconvenience to NS passengers as a result of this imminent increase in train withdrawals, we took a range of measures in 2021:

  • We have developed scenarios as part of our effort to limit inconvenience caused by major works on the Schiphol Tunnel from 2023. 

  • We have also examined the possibilities for single-track works and single-track train operation. However, as this would result in higher safety risks it is unlikely to become the preferred option.

  • Together with ProRail we also explored the possibilities for a supply-oriented division of works, which has resulted in adaptations to the schedule for withdrawals in 2022.

  • Finally, in a joint initiative with ProRail, other carriers, interest groups and franchising authorities we have developed a calculation model to convert inconvenience (travel minutes) into euros. In effect, the model enables us to quantify inconvenience, making it possible to weigh additional travel minutes against lowest cost options as input for decisions on withdrawals.

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