Netherlands train network shuts down over strike

Netherlands train network shuts down over strike
Because of personnel shortages and inflation-affected workers' strike for better pay and working conditions, nearly the whole Dutch rail network has been shut down.

Trains around the nation came to a halt on Tuesday when employees at the railway business Nederlandes Spoorwegen (NS) in the Netherlands' central region, which serves as a hub for almost all train lines, took the day off from work.

One exception was the line that runs between Amsterdam and the busy Schiphol airport, which was back in operation on Monday after being shut down by a strike.

Tuesday morning saw Utrecht Centraal station, the largest rail hub in the nation and often bustling with travellers.

Screens showing train timetables were lit up with the word “cancelled” in red letters and a station announcer explained in Dutch and English that services were being hit by the strike.

NS said in a statement that international trains operated by Thalys and Eurostar were running again after being halted on Monday.

Schiphol said in a warning to travellers that NS had indicated that four trains an hour would run each way between the airport and the Dutch capital’s central station.

Labour unions have called a series of strikes on the Dutch rail network after negotiations on a new collective labour agreement broke down.