At the request of then CDA MP Harry van der Molen, the railway company now shares the top 10 most reliable and least reliable routes every six months. The most reliable NS route is Nijmegen – Arnhem Central: only 4.8 percent of travelers experience a delay of at least 5 minutes there. In other words: 95.2 percent have a delay of less than 5 minutes.
All routes in the top 10 most unreliable connections are linked to the high-speed line between Schiphol, Rotterdam and Breda. That remains a headache. The NS attributes this, among other things, to the complex technology (with many transitions in terms of both voltage and train protection), the many delayed trains from abroad and the tightly scheduled train service.
The unreliability of the Intercity Direct equipment also plays a role. The NS had hoped that the influx of the new ICNG trains would be faster, but this is happening much slower than expected. As a result, there are still many old ICR carriages with locomotives running around that are not actually suitable for the HSL, but were provided as an interim solution after the Fyra debacle.
Moreover, the new ICNG equipment also suffers from teething problems. This is normal for new trains, but it still has an impact, partly because there is little spare material. And the speed restriction on the HSL at Rijpwetering (of 80 kilometers per hour) due to construction errors also does not contribute to a reliable train service.
Also annoying for airline staff
The unreliability of the connection between Rotterdam and Schiphol is not only annoying for holidaymakers and business travelers, but also for the many airline staff who use it. Alternatively, they can travel to Schiphol via the old railway line from Rotterdam via Schiedam, Delft, The Hague and Leiden, but then it will take twice as long.
The inflow of ICNG is much slower than expected. Photo: NS