Dutch rail plans Scandinavian expansion

The head of Netherlands Railways (NS), Aad Veenman, has said the company has plans to branch out into Europe through its transport franchise.

NS, which operates the Northern Rail franchise in the UK, is particularly interested in expansion in Scandinavia, said Veenman in a report by FEM Business.

“In Scandinavia we already have a hold of the rail infrastructure and we’d also like to move over to rail operations. By increasing our knowledge and experience we aim to become a player in the European market”, he said.

According to Veenman, it is the right time for the company to expand and he feels confident that it has the capability of doing so without damaging its existing operations. NS has already expanded into the UK whilst developing their services in the Netherlands.

The Dutch government has set a target for growth in the railway industry for 2008 and would like to see 5 per cent growth. Veenman is, however, more cautious and predicts that the country will see growth at around 2.5 to 3 per cent, although he admits, “over 2005 and 2006 we have grown by 5 percent, so it is not impossible.”

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