Under the contract, which was awarded following a tender process, NS will continue to maintain the 45 Bombardier Traxx locomotives.

The160km/h locomotives were purchased to operate InterCity/IC Direct services on the HSL-South high-speed line as well as the conventional network. They also operate IC train services between Amsterdam and Brussels. The locomotives are authorised for operation in Belgium, Germany and Austria.

The operation of Traxx locomotives by NS is planned to decline and the fleet will eventually be withdrawn when 79 Intercity New Generation (ICNG) 200km/h EMUs being built by Alstom enter service in 2021, initially on Amsterdam - Rotterdam - Breda services via HSL South.

The deal with Akiem gives NS certainty regarding the fixed residual value when the Traxx locomotives are eventually returned to Akiem. The deal also gives NS some flexibility if delivery of the Alstom ICNG trains is delayed.