No way to reach Schhiphol, Eindhoven or Venlo from Maastricht on Sunday morning during TEFAF week!


I am not sure this is the best way to have this solved, but I am very frustrated and amidst a family bereavement. I am in Maastricht, along with many colleagues and friends for TEFAF. We have just found out that we cannot get to Schiphol, or even Eindhoven or Venlo to be able to reach Schiphol and our flight at 10:35 on Sunday morning, because NS has scheduled maintenance, but has not planned any alternative services. Scheduling maintenance amidst TEFAF is very strange, but -surely- you could have a replacement of some sort to Eindhoven or Venlo, and Schiphol, particularly when the biggest event of the year is taking place?! Also, customer service was beyond unhelpful, with the person responding just saying "we can see what you see in the website, call 9292", which is what we did to find all of the above. The representative of 9292 was equally shocked as this is TEFAF week and at being totally unable to find an alternative and got the above info for us. Is it possible that such but planning occurs with no valid alternative for so many people travelling and amidst the biggest event for the province and for Maastricht -during TEFAF? The most amazing thing is we have just discovered KLM appears to have a standard service leaving at 5:00 am from Maastricht Central Station, but absolutely no provisions have been made for those not travelling with KLM as 'there is no current policy for such events'! This does not only reflect bad on NS, but on Maastricht, Limburg and the Netherlands, which is a country I love very much!

24 reacties

Reputatie 7
Maintenance is scheduled by ProRail, not NS. NS can't do anything about the maintenance, since it's dictated by another company.

I see the first connection departing @7.31 from Maastricht to Schiphol, which is normal for a Sunday..

The TEFAF week is not even mentioned in our events agenda, so it's probably not that big..
What an informed response! 75000 people visiting Maastricht in a week is not in your events' agenda. I would suggest you move beyond the realm of 'events' and on to the realm of 'business'. As for whether NS can or cannot do anything, and on to whether it is normal for absolutely no means of anyone going -anywhere- before 7:30 on a Sunday, well... we have different perceptions of normality. Thanks! https://www.tefaf.com/press/press-releases/new-exhibitors-and-new-opening-times-are-announced
Reputatie 7
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What is TEFAF? Never heard of it.

Furthermore 7.30 is the regular start time for trainservices from Maastricht on Sundays.
🙂 There is link at the end of the posting just before yours. It is the most important event of fine art, antiques, and design globally, and the biggest one in Europe, occurring every year, brings tremendous revenue to the region (Maastricht/Limburg) as it is a 'selling' event too, attracts over 75000 people every year over the period of a week, 10-18 of March this year.
Reputatie 7
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The regular start time for services on Sunday morning is 7.30 so you cannot reach Schiphol on Sunday mornings by train for a 10.35 flight. In that case you either have to travel Saturday evening of order a taxi.

NS is a non-subsidized railway company and will therefore not schedule extra trains in case of events unless the organizers of the event pay the costs. And the TEFAF organization is probably not prepared to do that.

With maintenance work it has nothing to do as services always start at 7.30 on Sundays.
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And the TEFAF organization is probably not prepared to do that.

Rectification: the TEFAF organisation is probably not willing to do that.
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https://www.maastrichtbereikbaar.nl/nl/bezoekers/topdagen-en-evenementen/tefaf
It is strange however that NS doesn't seem to know about this large event. Maybe something the organisers and the Maastricht council need to look into.

I can't see the problem however with the train service on a Sunday morning. Like Slidestops has mentioned already the first train from Maastricht to Schiphol on a Sunday is at 07.31. This service is not affected by engineering works. On weekdays the first train is at 05.31.
https://www.ns.nl/binaries/_ht_1516632912387/content/assets/ns-nl/dienstregeling/januari-2018/a-g/db1.pdf
Reputatie 7
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https://www.maastrichtbereikbaar.nl/nl/bezoekers/topdagen-en-evenementen/tefaf
It is strange however that NS doesn't seem to know about this large event. Maybe something the organisers and the Maastricht council need to look into.

In past the council of Maastricht had experience to pay railway companies for extra service (ref: intercity train Maastricht-Brussels-Oostende). So, if the council should like to offer an extra service to Schiphol Airport at Sunday THEY are the first party to start consultations to arrange extra trains.

BTW: If you depart with the train of 00:01, you will arrive at Schiphol airport at 4:00.
Cheap tickets can be find at www.actievandedag.nl for 12 euro single trip, or bought for a group at https://www.ns.nl/producten/en/meest-gekocht/p/groepsticket-daluren .
Thank you, everyone, for the interesting replies. I would agree with all comments about council involvement and TEFAF provision, so I have forwarded this thread both to TEFAF and to the Mayor's office in Maastricht. However, two critical points: a. Maastricht has become isolated with poor train service provision in general -it is not a good idea to attempt to be an important European city and to have a connection to Brussels which takes longer than it would if you were leaving from Aachen -and on Sundays- actually takes longer than if you were doing the Frankfurt-Brussels route! Of course, if you have an event with visitors matching the number of inhabitants, with a revenue of millions, you may want to have another approach. b. Information provision is a relative thing. I think you will find Google, Arriva, etc. insisting there is a service starting at around 5:30 am. Indicative screen shot attached. Also, for non local/Dutch visitors navigating to the non-international site (we have had many panic calls from friends on this), the impression is given it will take you the better part of four hours to reach the airport in Brussels -I am sure there can be better ways to inform people of options!
And the second screen shot for point b.
Reputatie 7
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@FrequentTRaveller
I can understand that these screen shots) upsets you.
The first (red) one is of a company that is NOT offering the service from Maastricht Central station to Schiphol airport. I cannoy explain how/why they present the weekly schedule on Sunday. Only in Amsterdam you have to transfer to the Metro line.

The second screen shot is correct for Sunday 18th March, 2018. The red text does not effect your trip to Schiphol.

The independent travel advisor https://9292.nl/reisadvies/station-maastricht/station-schiphol-airport/vertrek/2018-03-18T0731 gives also the right information.
Actually, the second screen shot is not correct for Sunday, March 18, as you think. Here's what you get to see in the international site -entirely different information! This is a well known problem to us living or frequently visiting Maastricht, but not to everyone.

The NS.NL provides completely different information to the NS.NL International site when it comes to visiting Liege, Brussels, etc. It is quite an amazing way to misinform.

And I am afraid what I am discussing here is not simply or only this one trip to Schiphol or just one visitor -me- but how everyone is affected. It is one thing to be (in) the heart of Europe without a big airport, but quite another to be 4-5 hours away with -sporadic and unreliable- service and multiple changes to the nearest airport. 🙂
Reputatie 7
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In the Netherlands we have Holland, we have Friesland, and below Eindhoven we have the county of Limburg, and the town of Maastricht. The last ones like to be international, and focus to Europe. They have their own language. That's why Holland forgets the South 😉
I think you have captured a very important point in that Holland forgets the South. However, I would have thought the North, and particularly, Amsterdam wants to be international and with a focus on Europe. Particularly as the European Medicines Agency is relocating there. I would have also thought the Hague wants to be international too, with International Court of Justice, etc., and that having a unique tri-border opportunity with proximity to Brussels and Frankfurt is a unique opportunity to make Maastricht a cultural and scientific centre. Not possible without decent transport, of course, and the South carries certain responsibility in ensuring visibility, connections, etc. So, I hope for the best! It is sad to see Deutsche Bahn having a Sunday service from Frankfurt (and from Aachen too) starting at 5 am with only 1-2 stops reaching Schiphol in 4-5 hours or less when Frankfurt is 400 km away from it and Maastrict a bit over half that distance...
Reputatie 7
According to the information I found, TEFAF is from 8 - 18 March. So 10 days. 75.000 visitors over 10 days really isn't that much. In comparison, the huishoudbeurs has 200.000+ visitors over 9 days, with most people using public transport.

Public (rail) transport is privatised and unsubsidised and in the Netherlands. It's supply and demand. Someone is gotta pay the bill to run public transport
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@FrequentTRaveller
I cannot explain how/why they present the weekly schedule on Sunday..


I can, this is a bug on the Arriva website. While the date displayed in the reisplanner results page is the one you set at the homepage or reisplanner page the date used by the planner is the current date because the date submitted by the homepage/plannerpage to the planner is wrong. You can discover and correct this error by clicking on the date field when on the results page or by modifying the URL.

The problem is that the input coming from the homepage uses a date format dd-mm-yyyy while the reisplanner form expects dayoftheweek (e.g. Friday) dd-mm-yyyy.

Wrong link, results in planning a journey for today instead of tomorrow
[quote=Arriva]https://www.arriva.nl/consumenten/reisinformatie-1/reisplanner.htm?from=Maastricht&to=Nijmegen&date=vrijdag+16+maart+2018&date_submit=16-03-2018&time=Nu&routeoperator=vertrek&fromGeo=50.85005%2C5.70498&toGeo=51.84326%2C5.853019&traveltype=[/quote]

Repaired link by adding [vrijdag%20] between date_submit= and 16-03-2017
[quote=Arriva repaired]https://www.arriva.nl/consumenten/reisinformatie-1/reisplanner.htm?from=Maastricht&to=Nijmegen&date=vrijdag+16+maart+2018&date_submit=vrijdag%2016-03-2018&time=Nu&routeoperator=vertrek&fromGeo=50.85005%2C5.70498&toGeo=51.84326%2C5.853019&traveltype=[/quote]


edit:
Not sure about my conclusions/can't reproduce the 5:30 train FrequentTraveler found.
This bug only has an effect when a region has been selected. When using the planner from the Heel Nederland page I don't see any issues. Might look into this later today.
Reputatie 7
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@FrequentTraveller
Operations of Deutsche Bahn are heavily subsidized, so that's no fair comparison.
@Slidestops You have your views, I have mine. The Huishoudbeurs is an absolutely indifferent, from a global or European perspective, event; you would have difficulty having people outside Netherlands knowing or caring for it. It hardly brings any money to the country from abroad and, of course, it does not even have an English website. TEFAF's basic revenue- sales apart and deals closed apart in a multi-billion market- stands at 3-4 million, but this does not capture 1/100th of what goes on during the week, not to mention what people spent in hotels and restaurants over this week Also, although it may be very important to have people tasting free food in some cultures, there is simply no comparison in terms of cultural or business importance. https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-tefaf-maastricht-dealers-close-seven-figure-sales-leisurely-pace. As for 'most of these people using public transport', I would have thought that in a city of almost 1 million, they use their local transport anyway.... being locals! For Maastricht, the visitors almost equal the population, of course. Finally, you need to have a service to be willing to pay for one. Here, we are talking about the total absence of service, wrong information in schedules, bad planning of maintenance -if you are having another company fixing the lines, well, talk to them and plan ahead for appropriate times, dates and deals. It's simply as if NS does not care to see how to make more money or support the areas in which it operates, let alone to do customer service. I am not sure what you know of business and NS strategy, but from my perspective, that is not a sound strategy on future business development. In the same way, this does not abrogate the responsibility of the state to support the region -if NS is unable to make enough profit to support local needs, then perhaps either more competition or more state intervention is required. But then again, other foreign business interests have already seen the gap overall in transport and have moved in. Perhaps a pity.

@Tamzin:
For the other two comments; operations of DB are subsidised. Perhaps. I doubt the Germans would subsidise, e.g., Arriva, for taking over services in the Netherlands without making profit. Which is exactly what Arriva did. Arriva is owned by DB, after all.

@Gert-Jan G
Cheers. That's helpful and I will share with friends. What we advised is that they navigate to the NS.NL International site or to DB and get info from there as it gives all network info and other options too.
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The DB journey planner is a very good one.
https://www.bahn.com/en/view/index.shtml#slc

This is the result for a journey on Sunday morning:

Reputatie 7
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... I am not sure what you know of business and NS strategy, but from my perspective, that is not a sound strategy on future business development. In the same way, this does not abrogate the responsibility of the state to support the region -if NS is unable to make enough profit to support local needs, then perhaps either more competition or more state intervention is required. But then again, other foreign business interests have already seen the gap overall in transport and have moved in. Perhaps a pity.
i doubt if any one at NS awakes with this "intervention" when there is no money brought in. The strategy of NS is simple: focus to the regular mainstream 80%, and leave the costful incidental 20% to other parties.
Reputatie 7
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... I am not sure what you know of business and NS strategy, but from my perspective, that is not a sound strategy on future business development. In the same way, this does not abrogate the responsibility of the state to support the region -if NS is unable to make enough profit to support local needs, then perhaps either more competition or more state intervention is required. But then again, other foreign business interests have already seen the gap overall in transport and have moved in. Perhaps a pity.
i doubt if anyone at NS awakes with this "intervention" when there is no money brought in. The strategy of NS is simple: focus to the regular mainstream 80%, and leave the costful incidental 20% to other parties.
The Mayor, Annemarie Penn-te Strake, was kind enough to respond immediately after contacting NS. NS confirmed they are adding TEFAF to their calendar and also will be offering a formal response to this situation and complaint. So, I remain optimistic NS will do those two little things and, perhaps, something good will come out of this for everyone in the future.
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The Mayor, Annemarie Penn-te Strake, was kind enough to respond immediately after contacting NS. NS confirmed they are adding TEFAF to their calendar and also will be offering a formal response to this situation and complaint. So, I remain optimistic NS will do those two little things and, perhaps, something good will come out of this for everyone in the future.
Let's wait till the results ;)

I am not pessimistic, but the maximum I expect is a combined travel&entrance discount ticket at the www.spoordeelwinkel.nl that is subsidized by the TEFAF organisation.
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The Mayor, Annemarie Penn-te Strake, was kind enough to respond immediately after contacting NS. NS confirmed they are adding TEFAF to their calendar and also will be offering a formal response to this situation and complaint. So, I remain optimistic NS will do those two little things and, perhaps, something good will come out of this for everyone in the future.
Adding TEFAF to the calendar will mean that next year ProRail and the train operators will use that information when planning the engineering works on the corridor to Maastricht. However, don't expect that extra trains will run on Sunday morning.
Event organisers and local councils have the responsibility to inform NS and the other train operators about events. NS can be blamed for a lot of things but not for not reading the minds of the TEFAF organisers.

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