The Anonymous Widower

Engine Change At Bad Bentheim

I’m on a train frim Amsterdam to Osnabruck. The train, which goes all the way to Berlin, is not very fast, but they’ve now stopped for ten minutes, whilst the Dutch engine is changed for a German one! Can’t both railway companies use the dame Euro-blighter and just have a change of drivers, as we do on Anglo-Scottish services.

Surely, these are the problems that the EU should solve. Or do German and Dutch rail unions make the RMT look like pussy-cats?

October 11, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 2 Comments

Express London-Amsterdam Eurostar Service Being Explored

The title of this post is the same as the title of this article on Global Rail News.

This is the first paragraph.

Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) has said it is in discussions with Eurostar to boost the number of journeys from Amsterdam to London in 2019.

The aim is to do the following.

  • Speed up the call at Brussels.
  • Increase services from two to three per day.
  • Reduce journey times from four to three and a half hours.

All very worthy, but I think Amsterdam even in three and a half hours may be a bit far, as the time by air is probably quicke.

 

February 5, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , | 3 Comments

Stadler Comes Up With A New Take And A Big Order For Hybrid And Battery Trains

This article on Global Rail News is entitled Vegetable Oil Fuel Trains To Run In The Netherlands Ahead Of Battery Conversion.

This is said.

  • Arriva has ordered eighteen hybrid diesel trains from Stadler to operate its Northern Lines services in the Netherlands.
  • The trains will initially be powered by Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO).
  • The trains will have regenerative braking.
  • Stadler have called the trains Flirtinos.
  • The trains are capable of conversion to battery trains, when there is sufficient electrification.
  • The first HVO trains will enter service in 2020.
  • Arriva has committed to putting batteries into all of its fleet  of fifty-one trains.

This a very strong environmental statement from Stadler and Arriva.

In July 2017, I wrote Battery EMUs For Merseyrail.

These trains are also being built by Stadler.

Conclusion

Have Stadler found the secret for better battery trains?

Certainly, the amount of money that Arriva is paying Stadler and the fact that Arriva are creating sixty-nine trains with batteries, indicates that they have confidence in the product!

You can’t fault Stadler’s marketing either!

 

November 14, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dutch Leave Passengers In The Cold

This article on Global Rail News is entitled Dutch Minister Resigns Over Fyra Failures.

The first paragraph sums up the article.

Dutch infrastructure minister Wilma Mansveld has resigned following the publication of a highly critical report on the failings of the Fyra high-speed rail fiasco.

The report, which was led by CDA parliamentarian Madeleine van Toorenburg, said that passengers had been “left out in the cold” by the HSL-Zuid project.

The second paragraph gave me the title for this post.

But as I effectively said in Back From The Hague, the Dutch, Belgians and Germans couldn’t organise a piss-up in a brewery!

So no wonder there’s frozen passengers all the way from Amsterdam to Brussels.

October 30, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Any Dutch Station By Eurostar From London

I complained to Eurostar about the lack of this ticket after my last trip to The Hague.

I got this reply.

Good morning,

although we currently don’t offer a ticket to “Any Dutch Station” on our UK website this product is available through our call centre on 0844 848 5848.   Please specify when booking that you don’t require the “Thalys” trains and that you will be using regular “Classic” trains onwards from, and back to, Brussels, and they will be able to booking the ticket for you.

Although this product was withdrawn from our website around the time that the High Speed link was introduced the position regarding the sale of this ticket on our website is under review.  In the meantime, though, please ring our contact centre who are open 0800 to 1900 on Mondays to Fridays and 0900 to 1700 on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Not perfect, but it looks like they’re on the case.

October 22, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Do The English, Scots And Welsh Work Better Together Than The Belgians, Dutch And Germans?

If we take these two groups of three countries, they all have different railway companies, but do they illustrate a problem in the relations between various EU countries.

I know my experience of travelling between these six countries is mainly on the trains, but to travel between England, Scotland and Wales by train, is a lot easier than travelling between Belgium and The Netherlands and the Netherlands and Germany is full of little difficulties.

Strangely if you add France into the mix, that is generally as easy as the three home nations.

Judging by my experience in Europe, there are many ways that the Scots and Welsh could make the English unwelcome. But they don’t, except for the Seniors Bus Pass, although the same Senior Railcard is valid everywhere in the UK.

I know we’re all part of the same country, but I think where something has to be agreed across a border, we generally find a solution that is acceptable enough!

In the important area of rail ticketing, there seems little agreement on common standards between Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany.

Imagine how difficult it would be if ScotRail had different ticketing rules to say Virgin.

Surely, if Europe can’t get its act together in something like rail ticketing, how can it get something important like dealing with migrants working?

 

October 13, 2015 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , , | Comments Off on Do The English, Scots And Welsh Work Better Together Than The Belgians, Dutch And Germans?

Den Haag HS Station

This is the station from where I left The Hague

Over the years, I have used it, Den Haag HS station has been cleaned up, but in some ways it is a rather soulless place, except for some of the old details.

I had bought my ticket earlier, but at least there was a machine at the station, where I could get a ticket to Brussels.

Unlike at Brussels, where there were no machines selling tickets to The Netherlands that I could find.

October 11, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Museum de Cruquius

The Museum de Cruquius is just up the road from The Hague near Haarlem, although our journey up wasn’t the easiest, because the motorway was closed.

It is well worth a visit as it shows a tremendous amount about how the Dutch have kept water at bay.

The enormous steam engine, which sadly doesn’t work, was actually built in Cornwall.

When I see a museum and engine like this, I do think it sad that London’s massive sewage engines at Crossness were just filled with sand and abandoned in the 1960s.

Both sites incidentally, are about the same age!

October 10, 2015 Posted by | World | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Kröller-Müller Museum

The Kröller-Müller Museum contains an art collection. It is set in The National Park de Hoge Veluwe, near Arnhem.

The gallery contains examples of many great painters and is surrounded by sculpture displayed in a wooded landscape.

October 9, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized, World | , , | Leave a comment

I’m Off To The Hague Today

Is there any other train journey between two capitals in the world, that is more difficult now than it was six or seven years ago?

When I first did this trip, I was able to buy a Eurostar ticket from London to Any Dutch Station, as many visitors to The Netherlands did.

But when Fyra; the high-speed train started, this was not possible any more. I couldn’t even get to the Dutch capital without a second change.

Today, I’ve bought a Eurostar ticket to any Belgian Station and will go to Antwerp for a spot of lunch, before I buy a ticket to Den Haag Laan van Nieuwe Oost Indie, so that I avoid all the hassle of using Dutch local ticketing, which will mean buying an Oyster-style card.

I will then use Shanks’s Pony to get to my final destination.

If that is progress, you can stick it up your backside.

Suppose to go between London and Edinburgh, you had to change trains at Newcastle or Berwick! Even the most rabid of Scottish Independence advocates, would never want a service like that between Scotland and England!

Also, if I was going to most important stations in Switzerland, I can buy one ticket from London.

Surely, this should apply to all major cities in Europe, that are within say five or six hours from London.

Going the other way, I could buy a ticket from say Paris direct to virtually anywhere in the UK.

October 8, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 3 Comments