Railway safety

To improve railway safety, NS is developing a single harmonised safety management system for the entire organisation. This creates clear and simple processes, which improves railway safety. This project is expected to take until 2019. The Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate will carry out an assessment in 2018.

Number of signals passed at danger (SPADs)

In addition to the number of accidents, the number of non-technical cases of signals being passed at danger (SPADs) is an indicator of railway safety. The number of SPADs increased to 47 in 2017 (2016: 46). The number of trains that reached a dangerous position (a place where an incident could occur) rose from 11 to 13. Last year, we worked on the further extension of the improved version of ATC and on raising awareness among staff, innovations in the cab and communication with staff about workloads and distractions. We have taken the decision to make the braking criterion (technically enforcing more powerful braking when approaching a red signal) in Intercity trains more stringent. NS has also decided to roll out ORBIT, the system that warns drivers if they are approaching a red signal too quickly. Installation in the rolling stock will start in 2018 and is expected to be finished by mid-2019.

Five-year SPAD trend

Running trains with ERTMS

The European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) is a new European train safety system that is being introduced on the Dutch railways. It increases the safety and reliability of the train service and the ability of different systems to communicate with one another. The State Secretary of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management has announced that the programme decision in 2018 is being postponed because the schedule that had been drawn up is not feasible. Making design decisions with supporting arguments, drawing up documents and making agreements with rail sector parties are taking more time than was originally estimated. Once this has happened, NS can start installing the system in the trains. The improved versions of ATC will remain necessary as some parts of the infrastructure will not have ERTMS for the time being.