NS announces plans for faster trains to Brussels and Berlin
The Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) has announced plans for new trains in 2024, and a faster service between Amsterdam and Brussels, and Amsterdam and Berlin.
The quicker journey to Berlin will be made possible by more efficient timetables in the Netherlands and Germany, and the skipping of some German stations. These changes should allow for at least 30 minutes to be shaved off the current travel time of six hours and 20 minutes.
NS hopes to implement these changes by 2021; however NS director, Marjan Rintel believes travel time of five hours and 50 minutes is still too long for people travelling from Amsterdam: “To the east, it is not time for a step, but for a jump. Then the train becomes a real option for the trip to Berlin.”
Rintel said there are currently plans in place to improve connections between Berlin and Arnhem, and to upgrade the track between Utrecht and the German border to allow for increased capacity and higher speeds. These upgrades would consequently provide residents of the Randstad with a significantly improved connection to Germany, making the train a more attractive travel choice.
The Amsterdam-Brussels journey currently takes two hours and 52 minutes, which should be cut down to under two and a half hours. A spokesperson for NS said this would be possible due to the top speeds of the new trains - they’ll be able to travel at 100 kilometres per hour for part of the journey.
Changes at Amsterdam Centraal also mean the route will no longer depart there, but instead will depart from Amsterdam Zuid, allowing for a faster connection to the high-speed line. NS also plans to continue discussions with Belgian rail company NMBS to see whether there are other changes that could be made to further reduce travel time.
More NS services
This summer, NS has already been busy announcing plans for new and faster train services. A direct Eurostar route between the Netherlands and London will launch on October 26, offering travellers significantly reduced travel time.
NS has also revealed plans to introduce, together with Swiss Railways (SBB), a year-round night train to Zurich in 2024. A night train service from Amsterdam to Munich, Innsbruck, and Vienna is launching in December 2020.
The rail company is also hoping to make changes to the NS International website, to make it easier for members of the public to book for a wider variety of destinations, such as Prague and Barcelona. Rintel stated he was hoping to discuss opportunities with other rail companies in Europe so that travellers could book tickets up to a year in advance, like they would with air travel.
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