Ow wow, there is some snow in the Netherlands! Whoohoo! Snow! The thing we missed in its current glorious proportions. Unfortunately, snow brings also some inconveniences; plans get ruined since roads are danger zones and rail fails.
National news channels are first-posting each other with the increasing amount of broken trains and tracks. They build a scenery of an entire country disappointed and angry at the train service. RTL 7 says “Criticism towards prorail increases”. Then you see people complaining, such as a guy from traveler organization Rover; “It’s very bad, the first day is okey, but this is unacceptable“; or something along those lines.
Now RTL 7 is the one claiming the critique is rising; but shows no evidence. We hear an opinion of a guy with big words and see some disappointed travelers; thats all. This is called “Complaining“; especially the content of Rover.
Critique has some foundation and can be used to build on. An example of constructive criticism: “The elevators on the station are broken; they should be fixed. In the meantime we should just try to help each other out. Maybe the NS should help out with extra personnel aside from the ones that provide information and security.”
RTL 7 is also complaining about the lack of traveling information and the fogginess of this information. My visit to the station today was the most clarifying one yet. Here is why: 1: NS attendants walk around to answer the same questions over and over again. 2: Intercoms continuously tell what trains leave at what tracks. 3: Travelers also get information of why their train doesn’t leave; and what is broken. And there is abundant information on the Internet; 4: The NS website informs about the trains that don’t leave. 5: The site advices to not travel by train. Missing out all these sources is incredibly hard, but possible. In this case: put some effort in it and look for it!
My personal experience of traveling by train saturday, today and yesterday is positive. The service level at stations is good; travelers even get free coffee and tea (and cappuccino!). Last night I couldn’t return home; a malfunctioning track blocked all traffic between Arnhem and Zutphen. This has been fixed last night. Think about this; people getting up in the middle of the night, in freezing cold, to fix a railroad track! Especially for me! That’s just awesome!
The atmosphere on the stations was very friendly. People are unionized, bonding, and possibly yesterday night has been the start of a few new relationships. There was no air of complaint or something like that, but there was some slight confusion about the train schedule; nothing worth mentioning on a national newscast.
There is something positive about this “critique”! If the common consensus tells prorail should better their service, they would likely get the means to do so! In this sense bad coverage is good for politics! So, please complain more! Maybe this could even expand our export of railway systems abroad!
All in all: RTL 7’s news item about the trains in this snowy weather is sensational, flat and cheap. The only value was in the comment of the prorail speaker. “We could choose to cancel all trains, or have a light service; we chose the latter“.
Enjoy your trip, and look outside: SNOW!