Our performance in a wider context

Punctuality in a busy railway network

Source: NS

A comparison between punctuality and track occupancy in eighteen countries shows that NS is in the top three. The Netherlands has shared the top spot for many years now with Switzerland, with Japan and Austria both also achieving high levels of punctuality on heavily congested tracks.
The number of train-kilometres is the total volume of traffic on the railway (number of trains multiplied by the distance they cover). The number of route-kilometres is the length of the tracks.


In comparison with other European countries, Dutch rail passengers travel in newer trains that are more frequent and are more likely to be on time. NS is also in the vanguard in terms of sustainability. It has high productivity levels, which means that customers pay fares that are around the average even though NS does not receive subsidies. In 2019, we will be performing a benchmark again; its results will be part of the midterm review.


Our reputation is an indicator for the attractiveness of travel with NS. NS obtains regular measurements of its reputation using the RepTrak method (from the Reputation Institute). The score has improved during recent years. The reputation score was 51.9 in 2015 following one or two major disruptions, publicity surrounding aggression against NS staff, the irregularities in the tender in Limburg and the parliamentary inquiry into Fyra. An improvement was seen in the score in 2016 (55.2), a trend that continued in 2017 with an average score of 58.8, and 2018 with an average of 61.4. The improved operational performance in 2017 was sustained in 2018, with greater punctuality for passengers and fewer cancellations, which meant a more reliable product for passengers. NS was not in the media quite so much as in 2017 in terms of volume, and sentiments regarding NS on social media became more neutral again and less negative. The positive development in our reputation is also reflected in the trend in customer satisfaction.

Development Reptrak-pulse score NS

More sustainable image for NS

Since 2017, all our electric trains have been running on wind power. Thanks to our sustainability efforts, we have been able to make it clear to Dutch consumers that NS is the leading sustainable option if they want to travel anywhere. The 2018 Dossier Duurzaam sustainability survey shows that NS’s sustainability reputation has improved significantly this year. Our score increased to 41, whereas in previous years we scored 37 points or less. NS rose in the list of sustainable companies, ending up in the same position as IKEA, Philips and Albert Heijn, with ranks 8 to 11.

The survey also showed that the group of consumers with a positive basic attitude to sustainability grew from 59% to 63%. The willingness of this group to pay a little extra for sustainable products also increased. Another notable finding is that the more frequently passengers travel by train, the more positive their assessment of NS with regard to CSR themes. More than half of all people (52%) find sustainability an important aspect in their choice of mode of transport.

NS’s involvement in the climate agreement

In 2018, NS was involved in the mobility discussion body for the climate agreement. Together with other organisations, NS is making an active contribution to reductions in CO2 emissions produced by mobility. Travelling by NS train is fully climate-neutral because the trains run on wind power. Encouraging use of the train makes a direct contribution to the reduction of CO2 emissions in the Netherlands.

Sustainable mobility

Dutch employers facilitate 56% of kilometres driven on the roads. That makes them a significant key to the reduction of CO2 emissions generated by mobility. At the initiative of the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW), the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, Nature and the Environment and NS, fifteen organisations joined forces in 2015 to boost the sustainability of business travel among their employees. They formed the group Anders Reizen. In 2018, this coalition grew to 45 participating companies representing more than 300,000 employees in the Netherlands. They came together on various occasions in 2018 to share success stories and problems. Based on the best practices, a vanguard policy was established with the top ten measures with the most impact on CO2 emissions caused by work-related mobility. A new focus is on reducing air travel, replacing it by rail travel up to a radius of 700 kilometres. Factors inhibiting more sustainable mobility that are not company-specific (such as tax issues, flight alternatives, electrification and employee benefits) are discussed in central working groups. The coalition is involved in the mobility discussion body for the climate agreement.

NS also participates in the Mobility Alliance, a broad coalition of parties in the Dutch car sector, the bicycle sector, freight road transport and public transport. Work was done in 2018 on a major programme for mobility. A key element in this plan is new ways of paying for mobility: payment will be geared more to usage rather than ownership. Within this programme, pilot projects have been formulated for experimenting with new ways of paying for mobility. They will serve as input for talks with the national government about the future for mobility.