The Dutch newspaper “Volkskrant” of February 24, 2012 contained a submitted article by ir. Eric Winter on public transport in the Netherlands. He compares the current public transport system to a road network without highways. Imagine that all current traffic had to flow through local and provincial roads only; it would take many hours to traverse the country.
Yet that is exactly the state of the public transport, according to him. All stop, fast, intercity and freight trains travel through and from city to city on the same track, causing much time lost in mutual waiting. He therefore proposes a kind of express network for the public transport, enabling true high-speed transport between different regions of the Netherlands. The benefits would be much like how the highways greatly improve nationwide road travel.
For the Dutch situation, he sees Maglev as an ideal means of transport. It is very fast and can still stop on our intercity distances. The technique has become affordable and he proposes to build a little each year to be ready before the Olympic games of 2028. Once completed, this high-speed metro network would speed up travel times for any one travelling throughout the Netherlands, including car owners. As per one of his examples, a door-to-door trip from the city Groningen in the north to Eindhoven in the south would take 1 hour and 20 minutes as opposed to the current well over 3 and 4-hour trip by car respectively public transport. Finally this would be a real alternative to the car. And also very reliable, no problems with leaves, broken overhead wires or frozen points. With the permission of Eric Winter, we refer here to his brief presentation (Dutch language only), taken from his website.
The Foundation for Freedom of Mobility welcomes initiatives such as Eric Winter wholeheartedly. It doesn’t matter if his ideas differ slightly from ours on details. We all pursue the same goal, and hey, the public even gets to choose from more ideas :-). It’s nice to see that other people are seriously thinking about solutions for the Dutch transport problem too.
Now we, all residents of the Netherlands, should convince the government that we really want better transport. That something akin to the “Deltaplan” waterworks is required for the public transport instead of piecemeal, low profile patches that don’t solve anything on the long run. Sign the petition at www.pro-maglev.net. For we are voters, and that is what the current politicians listen to.