NS running reduced train services from Monday
From Monday, February 7, Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) will run reduced train services in the Netherlands as coronavirus quarantine rules have left the company facing extreme staff shortages.
NS announces reduced timetable for trains
At the end of January, GVB switched to a reduced timetable as a result of staff shortages in Amsterdam. Now, less than two weeks later, the major Dutch rail operator has been forced to do the same as it struggles to maintain its standard scheduling with many train drivers, conductors, and technicians on sick leave after testing positive or coming into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
In a statement on the NS website, the company said it had been “forced to temporarily adjust [its] timetable” as it has seen a “sharp increase in colleagues who are at home due to illness or quarantine and are therefore unable to work.”
Quarantine rules lead to staff shortages across the Netherlands
NS emphasises that these changes will only be temporary, and the recent change to the national quarantine rules means many hope the staff shortages the Netherlands currently faces will be short-lived. The Dutch state rail operator has announced that their reduced timetable will be implemented in stages, with the first changes coming into effect on February 7. All timetable adjustments will be in effect by February 21.
“By temporarily scaling down the timetable, we create more space to absorb the increasing reports of illness,” NS says. “In this way, our timetable remains more predictable and… our sick colleagues have the opportunity to recover.”