The test trip for an accelerated express train service between Groningen and The Hague went off without a hitch in the early hours of Saturday morning. The train reached a top speed of 168 kilometres per hour.
Translation by Traci White
Dagblad van het Noorden reports that the train left Groningen at 12:02 a.m. and arrived in The Hague on schedule at 2:23 a.m. The journey of 2 hours and 21 minutes was 12 minutes shorter than normal, but NS is ultimately aiming to shorten the journey by 15 to 30 minutes
The test was meant to determine what changes will need to be made in terms of infrastructures and time tables in order to shorten the travel time between the north and the Randstad. The train reached a top speed of 168 kilometres per hour on the so-called Hanze line between Zwolle and Almere, where the train normally travels 140 kph.
According to RTV Noord, there was a festive atmosphere on the train with musical performances, games of bingo and a caricature artist to entertain the roughly 100 politicians, government officials, journalists and train enthusiasts on board.
The NS will also run an accelerated service test including Assen at some point later this year and will eventually decide which variant to pursue. It is likely to take years before the faster trains service actually comes online.