Passenger railway operator Netherlands Railways (NS) and German subsidiary Abellio Regio NRW will operate regional passenger services on the electrified line running between Gouda and Alphen-aan-den-Rijn in the province of South Holland from December 2016.

NS and Abellio have won the 15-year contract over Arriva Netherlands, the only other bidder for the contract, which is valued at €3m a year.

Under the agreed terms, the operator will invest in procurement of six new electric multiple units (EMU) for the route in order to increase the number of passenger journeys by 55%.

NS is expected to use advanced Sprinter Light Train (SLT2) sets. However, it will use the existing SLT class 2400 or 2600 EMUs supplied by Siemens and Bombardier, if the new trains are not delivered, reported International Railway Journal.

The company is currently in talks with the railway industry on specifications for trains that are to be used on the line.

The Gouda – Alphen line, which is a part of R-net, currently serves approximately 5,000 passengers daily, which is expected to increase with the opening of new stations including Boskoop Snijdelwijk and Waddinxveen Zuid.

Services on the line operate at a minimum interval of 30 minutes, with some extending through to Leiden Central.

R-net is a new network that is being developed to provide a more consistent public transport system in and around the Randstad conurbation.