12 March 2024, by Emily Proctor

Just eight out of the 99 high-speed trains ordered by the Dutch railway company NS back in 2016 are currently in service, according to the AD. The newspaper found that not only have there been issues with the delivery of train orders headed to the Netherlands, but those few trains that have actually entered into service have already proven themselves to be plagued by technical issues.

16 trains have been delivered to the Netherlands so far

The trains, known by many as “the wasp”, but officially named Intercity New Generation trains, are set to succeed the Fyra high-speed train which failed back in 2013. So far, 16 of the 99 trains ordered by NS have been delivered, with their delivery in part delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic across Europe. 

The trains are produced by the French manufacturer Alstom. Half of the trains successfully delivered to the Netherlands from Alstom are currently being used to train drivers and train staff before the rest of the fleet is rolled into service, hence why only eight of the delivered 16 trains are in use at the moment. 

New trains boast new features but are plagued with technical problems

The new trains boast plenty of new features such as LED lighting, wider aisles, and USB ports for passengers on board, but have also struggled with technical issues since being rolled out onto the tracks. The AD found that software issues are among the most commonly reported problems, such as software problems that lead doors to be stuck closed, and failures that suggest that there are problems with the train’s brake system. 

The newspaper also found that these problems have been responsible for several delayed trains – namely a three-hour delay for 300 passengers travelling from Rotterdam to Schiphol – a journey that should take between 29 and 55 minutes on public transport

Alstom’s customer director Hans Blaauw said the problems are part of normal “teething problems” which beset the introduction of any new train. “Every country has a different rail system and we adapt our trains to the local demands,” he told the AD.

Thumb image credit: Andreas Vancoillie / Shutterstock.com

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