Arriva gets permission for night train to Schiphol

Arriva is allowed to provide three new train services on the part of the Dutch track for which NS has a concession. From 2023, Arriva wants to run night trains once a week, from Friday to Saturday, on the Groningen-Schiphol and Maastricht-Schiphol routes, plus a train that runs five times a working day between Zutphen and Amersfoort.

Arriva, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn that provides train transport in the north, east and south of the Netherlands and runs buses in a large part of the country, received permission from the Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) on Thursday.

It is the first time in the Netherlands that ‘additional transport in open access’ will be provided on the so-called main rail network. This means: Arriva may drive on a track for which the company does not have a concession awarded by the government. Until 2035, NS has the exclusive right to use the main rail network, the most important connections in the Netherlands. The goat path to that main rail network is called open access and derives from European legislation. The EU is thus trying to offer more market forces on the railways in the Member States.

Also read the interview with Arriva CEO Anne Hettinga: ‘Without competition on the track, everyone is napping’

Economic damage

Under European rules, regulator ACM must determine whether a new open access service causes economic damage to the party that paid for the concession, in this case NS. The Dutch Railways pay the government a user fee for this. In 2020, the total usage and concession fee amounted to 172 million euros for the concession main rail network/HSL-South. According to the ACM, Arriva’s new initiative will cause minimal damage to NS.

Before Arriva can schedule the night train to Schiphol and the connection between Amersfoort and Zutphen, rail manager ProRail still has to find a gap in the timetable. NS now does not run to Schiphol from the north and south at night. And for the trains to Amersfoort, Arriva has submitted an application for precisely those moments when NS does not run trains. ProRail will start allocating capacity on the track next spring.

The ministry is currently investigating international trains via open access. The results of this study will be published this fall.

Arriva gets permission for night train to Schiphol
Source link Arriva gets permission for night train to Schiphol

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