NS says it decided to order the Flirt 3 trains without competition because the design has "proven itself" in service in various other countries. Moreover, rapid delivery is essential for NS because more students will qualify for discounted travel from 2016 onwards, which is expected to lead to a sharp increase in regional passenger traffic.

NS chose Stadler for this order as CAF, which won an order to supply 118 Sprinter EMUs to NS last November, cannot start delivery before 2018.

NS chief financial officer Mr Engelhardt Robbe welcomed the definite order for Flirt EMUs, stating that it is important for NS to have a sufficient number of comfortable trains to meet projected demand.

This is the second time in two years NS has ordered rolling stock without a public tender, using unforeseen circumstances as the justification on both occasions. In 2013 NS placed an order with Bombardier for 19 class 186 Traxx electric locomotives for IC Direct services on the HSL South high-speed line following the withdrawal of the AnsaldoBreda V250 fleet.