Europe, Netherlands, Transportation

Preparation for the national rail concession tender in the Netherlands

In a densely populated and urbanised country like the Netherlands, the rail transport system is an essential part of the mobility system. Rebel has been involved in the award, evaluation and improvement of successive Dutch rail concessions.

The challenge

Rail travel should be the most attractive option within the mobility system while also providing value for money for taxpayers. This requires careful consideration of goals, quality requirements and performance management.

The approach

Rebel has been advising the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management for more than a decade on how to achieve public goals by agreeing on deliverables with the Dutch Railways (Nederlandse Spoorwegen, NS). We were deeply involved in the preparation and granting of the HRN (main rail network) concession over the period 2015-2025. In 2019, we evaluated the extent to which the required results had been achieved. In 2020, we advised on the goals to be achieved and the contracting strategy for the next private concession decided by the ministry.

We investigated the challenges facing the rail industry and compiled our insights from the many other projects we have been conducting in the same industry.

We also identified best practices from regional procurement practice and lessons learned in the UK, France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Together with the ministry as client, we sought coordination with regional transport authorities and ProRail as the infrastructure manager. Upon completion of this phase, we will continue work on preparing the programme of requirements.

It’s great to see that with Rebel and our collaborative partners, we are able to translate substantive challenges in rail systems into policy options upon which the ministry can actually act.’ – Stijn Minderhoud

Realising a concessions process based on quality improvement and maximum public value.


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