NS Dutch Railways published its Annual Report 2017 on March 01, 2018. Abellio is a 100% subsidiary of NS. Please find below the NS press release Annual Report 2017:
In 2017 NS ran more trains, new trains came into operation and more passengers reached their destination on time than ever before. As a result, the score passengers gave NS increased once again: 80% of passengers gave a score of 7 out of 10 or higher, as opposed to 77% a year earlier.
NS will reserve an additional €502 million over the coming period for a complete overhaul of 45 double-decker trains. This will involve 242 carriages of types VIRM 2 and 3 with a total of around 24,500 seats. This planned investment is on top of the current upgrade of 81 double-decker VIRM 1 trains and the purchase of 118 Sprinter SNG trains and 79 new generation Intercity trains.
Roger van Boxtel, CEO of NS, announced this decision today during his presentation of the 2017 annual report which was held in NS’s train workshop in Haarlem specially to mark the occasion. “The modernisation of a train is an impressive operation that we perform sustainably. Our mechanics replace every last nut and bolt. The significance cannot be overestimated. In doing this, we are investing in the comfort of our passengers, who will see the benefits every day.” The modernised double-decker trains will be brought into operation again from 2021 and should then be able to run for another 20 years.
The decision takes the total amount NS is investing in upgrading and extending its train fleet to €3 billion. The maintenance centres will also undergo changes to ensure that they are equipped to maintain the new trains. The 45 double-decker trains will soon look brand new again with comfortable seats, modern lighting and recharging facilities in first and second class. As in previous modernisation operations, NS is aiming to recycle or reuse 95% of the waste materials from this process.
Performance on the tracks
The year started with the biggest changes to the timetable in ten years, the ten-minute service (a train every ten minutes) between Amsterdam and Eindhoven started smoothly in December and increased seating capacity by 15%. The introduction of the 58 new Sprinter trains (FLIRT type) was also delivered as planned and improved passenger train journeys resulting in 91.6% of passengers arriving on time in 2017, compared with 90.6% in 2016. The chance of a passenger getting a seat in peak hours remained the same at 95.1%.
The number of trains per day on the High-Speed Line increased from 160 to 233 due to the new faster connection between The Hague and Eindhoven. As expected, there was a dip in the first quarter which is typical for introducing a new service. The extra focus and attention paid by our staff to delivering good performance every day led to an increase in the punctuality throughout the High-Speed Line to 83.5% and the chance of getting a seat at peak times on this service was 96.8%. In 2018, the number of trains on the High-Speed Line will increase further to 269 and additionally the Intercity Brussels and the Eurostar will also start operating on this line in 2018, further reducing journey times.
The results for 2017 continue the upward trend seen in 2016 for strong operational performance. NS achieved the norms agreed with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management for all twelve performance indicators.
Tabel 1: Achievement of the most important performance indicators NS 2017
Punctuality for passengers
Punctuality for passengers on HSL
Seat availability on HSL
Door to door
Now that all the electricity used comes from wind power and the last diesel trains have been retired, NS has reduced CO2 emissions from train journeys to zero. Use of OV-fiets, the public transport bicycle, increased once again this year from 2.4 to 3.1 million trips. The public transport bicycle has now become an indispensable part of the journey for many people. The number of Zonetaxi subscribers rose from 34,000 to 44,000. In 2017, NS started operating access gates at various stations, including Amsterdam Centraal and Utrecht Centraal. The gates are now operational at 74 stations which are in place to combat fare dodging and make passengers and staff feel safer. In addition, the access gates also ensure that passengers do not forget to check in or out.
NS finished 2017 with €5,121 million in revenue, an increase of 0.5% since 2016 (€5,093 million). When adjusted for the sale of Qbuzz and the effect of the pound sterling exchange rate, the increase was 4.8%. NS achieved a profit from operating activities of €32 million (€270 million in 2016). Whereas in 2016 NS had exceptional income items from the sale of property (€117 million), in 2017 NS had exceptional items of expenditure, in particular the fine of €41 million imposed by the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM). The underlying operating result (the result excluding exceptional items) amounted to €131 million in 2017; in 2016 it was €145 million. The main reason for this decrease was the sale of Qbuzz. A net profit of €24 million was recorded in 2017, as opposed to €212 million in 2016.
Tabel 2: Financial key figures NS 2017
€ 5.121 million
€ 5.093 million
€ 1.921 million
Result from operating activities
€ 32 million
€ 270 million
Underlying operating result
€ 131 million
€ 145 million
€ 24 million
€ 212 million
€ 618 million
€ 791 million
NS is continuing to acquire experience in the European railway market through Abellio. In 2017, Abellio UK and its partners won the West Midlands franchise in the United Kingdom and Abellio Germany added WestfahlenBahn to its portfolio. Abellio is now the fourth largest carrier on the railways in both the United Kingdom and Germany. NS once again recorded a profit in its foreign operations this year with an underlying operating result of €53 million, the same as the previous year.
In the past year, we invested in our journey information systems, for example with a completely revised Journey Planner Xtra app that focuses more on the entire journey from door to door. The app provides information about buses, trams and metros, in part by making use of the GPS location. Tickets are now available as mobile phone tickets via the Journey Planner app. In 2017, NS opened its innovation studio M-Lab. This is where NS is working on becoming “the leading travel guide for public transport” and developing appropriate innovations for this purpose. Work is also being done here on options for viewing available seats or asking the chief guard a question via the Journey Planner app. The Intelligent Platform Bar was also installed in 2017 at Schiphol station which is an LED display where passengers can see not only where a train will stop and where the doors will be, but also the location of the quiet carriage.
With more than 1.2 million trips by train every day, NS has a positive impact on society in the Netherlands. As of 2017, NS trains run entirely on wind power, meaning that CO2 emissions from train journeys have been reduced to zero. Furthermore, passengers covered 150 million more kilometres by train than in the previous year. Partly as a result of this, our social impact has improved once again.