November 05, 2013

Fyra fiasco could cost NS €465m

Written by  Quintus Vosman
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Fyra fiasco could cost NS €465m Quintus Vosman

DURING a debate in the Dutch parliament on November 4 finance minister Mr Jeroen Dijsselbloem, revealed that the loss incurred by Netherlands Railways (NS) as a result of the Fyra debacle stands at around €221m and could reach €465m when all costs, including legal fees and the cancellation of the order for AnsaldoBreda V250 trains, are taken into account.

It is feared that the financial impact will hit NS' investment programme and will probably lead to the cancellation of the company's dividend to the Dutch state. The government had previously forecast a dividend of €119m for 2013, but Dijsselbloem says he expects there will be no payment at all this year.

In previous years these payments were allocated to the rail programme of the state's Infrastructure Fund, which provides investment in national infrastructure projects and maintenance. In the absence of a dividend from NS, the state will cover the €119m payment to the Infrastructure Fund.

NS is a publically-owned company under Dutch civil law, with 100% of the company's shares held by the state. The minister of finance is the designated shareholder, while the minister of infrastructure is counterpart to NS for operating concessions and implementation of transport policy.

The withdrawal of Fyra and NS' exit from the high-speed business means all high-speed services on HSL South will be operated by Thalys, and Eurostar from 2016.

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