Train schedule changes
For NS and ProRail, it is important to provide safe and reliable train travel for passengers, even in inclement weather. When severe winter weather conditions are expected, NS and ProRail take precautionary measures, such as implementing a winter weather schedule, as well as extra measures to better serve our travellers. However, winter weather may still result in inconvenience for travellers, so we recommend that you keep an eye on the weather reports and consult the Travel Planner for the latest information before departure.
When the train schedule is changed due to inclement weather, ProRail also assigns extra snow teams, disruption teams and auxiliary locomotives to deal with any problems that arise as quickly as possible. NS assigns extra staff to the stations and the trains. However, even with the schedule changes and extra measures, travellers may still experience inconvenience and delays due to inclement weather. NS and ProRail work hard to limit the consequences and to solve any disruptions as quickly as possible.
What is different compared with normal days?
When we apply schedule changes for winter weather, approximately 80% of all trains will continue to run as usual. A minimum of two trains per hour will run along most routes, and four per hour along some routes. This provides more room to solve any problems that arise as quickly as possible. However, winter weather conditions can still result in inconvenience for train travellers. We therefore advise travellers to keep an eye on the weather reports and to consult Travel Planner before departure. We also recommend that frequent travellers download the NS app, which notifies travellers when NS and ProRail have decided to implement a winter weather schedule for the following day.
What if the weather conditions are better than expected?
Nothing is as unpredictable as the weather. Once we have implemented schedule changes, we cannot reverse them if the weather turns out better than expected, as the staff and trains are scheduled for different locations and the travel information is based on the changed schedule. We realise that this may be inconvenient for some passengers, but we prefer to take extra precautions than to run the chance of disruptions to the rail network due to inclement weather.
Esther, Equipment and Personnel Manager, explains why the inclement weather schedule cannot be changed if the weather is better than expected in this video about winter weather schedule changes.
For more information about winter weather schedule changes, watch the video 'Schedule changes due to severe weather conditions' on YouTube.
Why are the trains more crowded than usual?
When we implement a schedule change due to inclement weather, fewer trains will run than normal. This results in more crowded trains, especially during peak hours. We try to run longer trains, but not every train can be lengthened, because trains must never be longer than the shortest platform along the route.
It is also possible that the train that arrives at the platform is shorter than expected, because the scheduled train is down for maintenance or repairs. This can also result in more crowded trains.
In this video, Engineer Dorothy explains why trains can occasionally be more crowded due to a winter weather schedule change.