2017 was a successful year for NS. We met the targets for passengers in the Netherlands, continuing the upward trend from 2016. We improved our performance in areas such as punctuality and we introduced new trains. We also made travelling by train more attractive, for example with high-
frequency trains. In this way, we are working towards the midterm review in 2019 when the government will assess our performance. Abellio started the new West Midlands franchise in December 2017.
Our performance on the main rail network
Realisation in 2017
Realisation in 2016
Target value for 2019**
General customer satisfaction with the domestic main rail network
General customer satisfaction with HSL South services
Customer satisfaction with personal safety
Punctuality for passengers (to 5 minutes) on the main rail network*
Punctuality for passengers (to 15 minutes) on the main rail network*
Punctuality for passengers (to 5 minutes) on the HSL*
Quality of connections to other carriers *
Seat availability at peak times (main rail network)*
Seat availability at peak times (HSL)*
Top 10 busiest trains
Journey information during the train journey
Information in the train and at the station about disruptions
- *New value with respect to 2016 as a result of technical changes or changes to the methodology that have been taken into account in the performance indicators. The results are therefore not comparable to the results from the 2016 annual report. See Results for 2017 for an explanation.
- **Target from the Transport Plan 2018
The completely revised timetable and the introduction of new trains improved train journeys in 2017. All the new FLIRT trains have been running since 2017 and, together with ProRail, we have been working on improvements to the facilities at smaller stations. As a result, the nationwide customer satisfaction figure for stations rose to 73% (2016: 70%). More bicycle storage facilities and public transport bicycles (OV-fiets) let us improve the door-to-door journey too.
The introduction of the new timetable saw us bring in high-frequency services between Eindhoven and Amsterdam, with an Intercity train every ten minutes. This increased capacity on this busy route. All our trains in the Netherlands have been running exclusively on green power
from wind energy since 1 January 2017. This means that the net impact of our train operations is CO2 neutral. These milestones boosted general customer satisfaction. The introduction of the new route from The Hague to Eindhoven on the High-Speed Line (HSL) South resulted in a disappointing first quarter because of the complexity of the system and product; performance on the HSL South improved considerably after that. This allowed NS to meet the performance agreements that were made with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.
Performance on the main rail network in the Netherlands in the longer term
Punctuality for passengers
NS is continuing to acquire experience in the United Kingdom and Germany through Abellio and we are preparing for any further deregulation of the railways. In 2017, Abellio UK and its partners won the West Midlands franchise in the United Kingdom and Abellio Germany added WestfalenBahn to tis portfolio. Abellio is now the fourth largest carrier on the railways in both the United Kingdom and Germany.
In financial terms, NS had a positive year in 2017, but healthy business operations with sufficient returns remain a challenge. Revenues were €5,121 million, which is an increase with respect to 2016 (€5,093 million). The main rail network franchise KPIs for 2019 are leading factors in the financial policy as well for the NS business plan: total investments of €618 million meant we continued to invest in programmes that help us achieve the targets for the KPIs, customer satisfaction, new rolling stock and productivity. A profit of €24 million was recorded as opposed to €212 million in 2016. Whereas in 2016 NS still 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).
Passengers in the Netherlands travelled 150 million more kilometres by train in 2017 compared with 2016 (up by 0.8%), which means that our positive social impact on mobility and safe travel with respect to cars has improved once again. Our environmental impact also improved because our trains were running entirely on wind energy in 2017. Measures were taken that reduced the negative impact of time spent travelling in packed trains. Studies into how passengers spend their time in the train and at the station show that this is increasingly being done usefully, reducing the negative impact of journey time.
NS in 2018
Over the coming year, the focus will be on performing as well as possible for our passengers on the main rail network. As regards the HSL, it is important that everyone concerned remains focused so that the upward trend in performance can be retained. From April onwards, Eurostar will be running between London and Amsterdam. From the autumn of 2018 onwards, there will be a phased introduction of new Sprinters from CAF onto the tracks. We are continuing to invest in new trains and in modernising existing rolling stock. In addition, we are keeping our full attention on conduct and integrity within our organisation. We are continuing to work on improvement programmes for our key franchise KPIs. Furthermore, we are looking at the issues that are hot topics in the regions and at how NS can help improve mobility throughout the Netherlands. In Germany we are mobilising as part of the new franchises, whereas the focus in the United Kingdom is on operational improvements, taking account of the effects of Brexit on passenger behaviour and revenues.