The entire fleet of 50 trains will be similarly refurbished
Translated by Thomas Ansell
As reported by the Friesch Dagblad, the trains have been completely renewed both inside and out- and on Thursday the first ride with paying passengers took place. Milfred Hart, regional director of Arriva in the Northern Netherlands wasn’t initially that sold on the new colour scheme when he saw it on paper, but seeing it in the metal yesterday changed his mind: “I thought, now, I don’t know that one! But in the end it’s turned out lovely”, he said.
Naturally, it’s not just the colour of the trains that have changed. As part of the renewed franchise deal that Arriva signed recently, the 50 trains (made by Stadler from Austria) it runs in the North will be renewed. The new franchise deal runs until 2035.
The first train delivered was named for Jelle Zijlstra, and previously collided with a milk truck in Winsum in 2016. “By December 2021, the entire fleet will be ready”, says technical project manager Marten Feenstra, “it hangs a little from the Coronavirus situation, we’ve already had a delay”.
Feenstra can name a long list of improvements to the train sets: every seat now has a charging port, and each train now has a ‘silent compartment’. First class has been abandoned, and toilets now have baby-changing tables. New security cameras have also been added; “and there’s now LED-lighting, and new screens with travel information”, he says. On the outside of the trains, lights now show where the busiest parts of the train are, and where seats are free: “that’s unique in train-land!”, says Feenstra.
On the roof of the trains there is now a 25-kilowatt battery, that’s charged continuously by running power. “Every moment of braking brings another 280 ampere. If we, for example, are going to Harlingen then we’ve got four of these instances, and the battery will return to 80 percent full.” The batteries ensure that both the air conditioning and power supplies continue: which is both more sustainable and quieter for passengers.
Drivers have also benefitted from the upgrades; with new rear-facing video cameras. Thanks to the upgrades, the trains should be able to run for another 15 years or so. Arriva have not confirmed the cost of upgrading the trains.