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Major power outage halts Amsterdam rail service, roadways

17 January 2017 16:11

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A major power outage in the Netherlands’ capital, Amsterdam, has led to huge road and rail service commotion as well as heavy traffic, leaving many rush hour commuters stranded, officials say.

The electric power cut on Tuesday meant that no trains would leave or enter Amsterdam’s busy main railway station, prompting rush hour drivers to hit the roads early and causing congested traffic.

“Other parts of the country are hit by the knock-on effect,” Dutch National Rail declared on its website, adding at about 10:00 a.m. local time that “the power cut has since been fixed but rail traffic is still seriously affected.”

People queue to get inside a bus after an electricity outage in much of Amsterdam and the surrounding areas hit trains, trams and metros, January 17, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The power outage, however, was repaired by 9:00 a.m., according to electricity provider Liander, which also warned that “problems may still occur due to the start-up process.”

The company did not mention the reason for the huge power cut. The Netherlands has been experiencing sub-zero temperatures overnight.

Dutch road safety association ANWB also cautioned that serious traffic jams had been generated on the A2 highway between Amsterdam and Utrecht.

Early on Tuesday, large parts of Amsterdam and its northern neighbors of Zaandam and Landsmeer were struck by the major power outage, which affected nearly 360,000 households as well as the region’s public transport system, including the capital’s tram service, Liander said.

Meanwhile, Dutch public newscaster NOS broadcast television images of commuters despairingly waiting at Utrecht’s central station for the restoration of electricity as long lines of people formed at bus stops at Amsterdam Central station.

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