The NS is ready for the 'corona timetable' that will apply from 1 June, says the carrier in talks with NU.nl on Wednesday. The trains, stations and bicycle sheds have been adapted to the one and a half meter society and face masks and face shields have been purchased for employees.
The NS makes the mouth masks and face shields (also called mudguards) available to employees who cannot keep a distance of 1.5 meters, such as conductors. For the time being, it has been possible to stock up on sufficient protective products for the staff, says a spokesman for the NS.
Since Monday, all bicycle sheds at the stations are open again. "For the safety of travelers and employees, we have installed large transparent screens here."
The NS says it is ready for the new timetable, whereby the regular number of trains will be used. The carrier has been preparing for a month.
"And that's a good thing: you don't start a timetable one day or another. We had to put dozens of trains on routes and connect them together. It takes a few weeks."
Decals on the ground at stations indicate where people should walk. (Photo: Pro Shots)
'Exciting' how busy it will be
Some changes had to be made in the trains and at the stations. For example, travelers are only allowed to sit on the seats by the window, which is indicated by green-colored stickers. "Several tests we have conducted show that 95 percent of travelers sit in the right place."
The stations are now all 'corona proof'. Lines on the ground indicate walking routes, and stickers should indicate that four steps should be kept on the escalators.
It is only exciting how busy it will be, says the spokesman. "Practically everything is round, but we cannot look into a glass ball." The NS emphasizes that public transport is still only allowed for necessary journeys. "The train is still not an outing."
The NS cannot yet confirm how the trains will be maintained. Discussions between the unions and the NS about this are still ongoing. More is expected to be announced on Thursday or Friday.
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