Railway safety

To improve railway safety, NS is developing a single harmonised safety management system for all business units. This creates clear and simple processes, which improves railway safety. We also pay attention at all times to safe working practices. Specific attention goes to learning from incidents and near misses, and discussions about safety between management and colleagues at work. We have made agreements with ProRail about handling and following up incidents and near-incidents.

Number of signals passed at danger (SPADs)

The number of non-technical cases of signals being passed at danger (SPADs) – a railway safety indicator along with accidents – remained constant at 46 in 2016 (2015: 45). The number of trains that reached a dangerous position (a place where an incident could occur) fell from 14 to 11. This reduction is partly thanks to the implementation of conflict-free planning, simplifying of rules on shunting yards, further roll-out of the improved version of the ATB automatic train protection system, and open communication with employees about safety, for example on being distracted by smartphones.

Running with ERTMS

ERTMS is a new European train security system that is being introduced on the Dutch railways. It is intended that all trains and as much of the infrastructure as possible will have ERTMS by 2022. The system improves international interoperability, safety and reliability of the train service. In the first half of 2016, we investigated what impact running with ERTMS and ATB will have, as well as the transitions between them. NS can use the results to improve the training for drivers. Additionally, the rollout strategy for the infrastructure was announced in 2016. The first track sections with ERTMS – Kijfhoek-Roosendaal Grens and the Haarlem area – will become operational in 2024.