It’s not that much nicer anyway
Translated by Thomas Ansell
As reported by the Omrop Fryslân, those travelling by train in both Groningen and Friesland will no longer be able to make use of the slightly-more luxurious seats in first-class, as Arriva is converting the sections into regular seating. Both the provinces of Groningen and Friesland remain the final owners of the line, and both have agreed that first-class travel is no longer needed.
From December 13, all train cars with first class sections will be brought in for revamping. This is also the first day of the new franchise contract agreed between the Northern Provinces and Arriva. A spokesperson from the Province of Groningen said “with the incoming of a new contract, quality will be raised for travellers, for example there will be USB-ports in the chairs to charge phones. There will also be tray-tables installed.”
Up until now, the Arriva trains have not been supplied with tray-tables, and it is hoped that they will make it easier to work on the train. “All in all it will mean a much better second-class experience, so we have therefore decided to abandon first-class in our trains”, said the spokesperson.
Arriva says that it will keep ‘quiet coaches’, which are separated by sliding doors from the rest of the train. However, no longer having a first-class section will make the trains unique in the Netherlands: all NS trains are segregated by class, as are other Arriva services in the country. Arriva’s 18 new trains will only have second-class seats, and from December any trains that have not been refurbished will simply become all-tickets valid everywhere.
In other rail-related news, the first hydrogen-powered train will make its first test ride in Groningen on the weekend, says the Dagblad van het Noorden. The Alstom-built ‘Coradia iLint’ is currently going through testing in Germany, and will run at around 140 km/h on the line between Groningen and Leeuwarden- however without any passengers on board.