NS leaves the UK after 20 years

NS leaves the UK after 20 years

A train from Abellio in the United Kingdom.  (Photo: Geoff Shepherd)
A train from Abellio in the United Kingdom. (Photo: Geoff Shepherd)


NS bids farewell to Abellio in the UK. The British branch has now been sold to British management. NS reported the news internally last Tuesday, and was published by ANP.

The move marks the end of the NS subsidiary, which has been operating in the United Kingdom since 2003. NS has long been a major player in neighboring countries, but decided a few years ago to focus more on the Netherlands. Abellio also suffered losses in Germany, while in Scotland it came under fire for failing to meet performance requirements.

It looks like NS won’t be investing heavily overseas any time soon. Last summer, Finance Minister Sigrid Kok said these would only take place if they contributed to the public interest of the Netherlands. For example, until spring 2022, Abellio operates on the German railway network, including a cross-border link (RE19) between Arnhem and Düsseldorf. However, since Abellio went bankrupt in this concession, the railway is now in the hands of VIAS. Elsewhere in Germany, in the Magdeburg region, Abellio still operates because it falls under a different concession.

Sales

The sale of Abellio UK will generate at least €15 million for NS. It can be up to 25 million euros depending on the performance of the foreign branch. Additionally, there are different claims procedures from the United Kingdom, so the exact amount is still unclear. A positive result is expected to be between 100 and 180 million euros.

Abellio UK sales were announced a few years ago. Finally, in the summer of 2022, it was announced that Abellio would be taken over by British management. Now the traffic authorities have also approved the sale.

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