13 July 2023, by Victoria Séveno

While this year has seen Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) significantly reduce its services, the Dutch rail operator has already confirmed that it intends to expand its timetable for 2024. 

NS scaling up rail services in new timetable

The past couple of years have been rough over at NS; after the coronavirus pandemic slashed passenger numbers, the company has faced national strikes and severe staff shortages, which in turn led to it scrapping some rail services in the 2023 timetable

Now, looking ahead to next year, this month has seen NS announce that it intends to expand its timetable in 2024. “The Netherlands travels differently and NS is adapting to this,” NS chief Wouter Koolmees explains. “That is why, where we see passenger numbers growing, we are gradually extending the timetable.” 

More trains to run between Dutch cities in 2024

As part of the plans for next year, NS has outlined a number of changes it will implement in 2024. These include: 

  • The reintroduction of a high-speed Intercity Direct service between Amsterdam and Breda, which will run three times every hour.
  • More Intercity Direct services between Amsterdam and Rotterdam over the weekends.
  • More Intercity services during off-peak hours between Utrecht and The Hague, Utrecht and Rotterdam, The Hague and Amsterdam, Schiphol and Nijmegen, and Dordrecht and Schiphol.
  • More Intercity services between Schiphol and Arnhem, and Dordrecht and Schiphol over the weekends. 
  • More Intercity services on the Arnhem – Utrecht – Schiphol – Rotterdam route during rush hour on Mondays to Thursdays.
  • More Sprinter services between Dordrecht and Rotterdam and between Assen and Groningen during rush hour on Mondays to Thursdays.
  • More Sprinters between Arnhem and Nijmegen during off-peak hours on weekdays. 

In addition to increasing the number of services, NS is due to implement other changes that should reduce travel times on certain routes, including the Sprinter services between Leeuwarden and Zwolle and Utrecht and Den Bosch, and the Intercity service between Amsterdam and Berlin.

Finally, services on some less popular routes are also set to be scrapped in the new year:

  • Fewer Sprinter services between Amsterdam Centraal and Almere Oostvaarders during off-peak hours. 
  • Fewer Sprinter services between Utrecht Centraal and Woerden during off-peak hours. 

While NS has announced its intentions for 2024, the details of the new timetable are not set in stone yet. A final decision is due to be announced at the end of the summer.

Thumb: Christophe KLEBERT via Shutterstock.com.

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