NS rethink

first_imgWITH expressions of interest for the operation of international high-speed services on HSL-Zuid due by August 18 (RG 7.99 p426), Netherlands Transport Minister Tineke Netelenbos revealed last month that she was now minded to allow Netherlands Railways to enter the bidding. However, this would be on condition that NS gives up its option for a 10-year exclusive concession to run domestic inter-city services. The immediate reaction from members of parliament was that the constant changing of railway policy was counterproductive, and all the Dutch people wanted was an integrated national network that was convenient and easy to use.The open access freight operators competing with NS Cargo have formed an umbrella association to protect their interests when dealing with the government and Railned. BVS is worried that the failure of Lovers Rail to break into the passenger business may be repeated in the freight sector, where shortages of ATB-equipped locos are constraining capacity. Track access charges are also set to rise by up to 20% under the government’s current financing strategy.H An investigation by the Netherlands Audit Office released at the end of June suggests that sensitive information submitted to Railned by open access bidders has found its way to NS. Although the two organisations are officially independent, 99% of Railned staff are still technically on the NS payroll.last_img