Snow Day

Today I spent a lot of time waiting for trains, looking for trains, riding on trains.  I had to go to Rotterdam in the morning, and then Amsterdam in the afternoon, then back to Haarlem.  Unfortunately, when we get the slightest bit of snow here, the trains just break down.  On my route, at least 50% of the trains were cancelled.  It’s just ridiculous.

I took this photo from the window of a stopped train.  We had just left Den Haag, heading to Amsterdam.  I shouldn’t have had to go to Den Haag Centraal at all, but I had no choice.

Why is it that in Germany and Poland and Sweden and Russia and Switzerland, all places where there is MUCH colder weather than here and much more snow than here, the trains run.  I lived in Switzerland for 11 years and NEVER experienced or heard of train problems like we have here in the Netherlands.

I think they just don’t want to spend the money to upgrade systems to be weather proof.  I think it’s a scandal.  How many people couldn’t get to work yesterday?  Only half of my students managed to get to class.  For a country that is so far ahead of the rest when it comes to technology (fast internet, banking, flood preparations, etc), the train system is an embarrassment.

Also, the roads don’t get cleared of snow either.  In Switzerland there are road crews working round the clock to clear snow from roads so people can get to work.  Yesterday morning there were pile-ups everywhere due to people trying to drive on roads that had not been cleared or gritted or salted.

Given these conscious decisions by the government and train company not to cope with snow and ice, they should just admit their apathy and call it a snow day.  Officially tell everyone to stay home.  It would be cheaper and better for everyone.  I’m going to write to my congress person….

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