1 MAY 2017
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A team of about 40 journalists and technicians rode the new Amsterdam Noord-Zuid metro line last week in the first full-scale test run of the route. The subway reached its top speed of about 80km per hour, taking the observers from Amsterdam Central to Amsterdam Zuid, then back north to the final stop at Amsterdam Noord.
Construction on the Noord-Zuid line was anything but smooth. It began in April 2003 with an estimated completion date of 2011. Problems with work under the central station and further south at Vijzelgracht were the cause of many delays, as the cost of construction ballooned.
The line will not start operating until July 2018. The idea of the test run was a PR exercise to try to smooth out the past problems.
In August 2015, the bankruptcy of key contractor Imtech raised concerns about the construction of elevators, escalators, lighting, and the electrical installations that power the railway and air ducts.
Imtech Germany was involved in the construction of the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport. It has been reported that the new terminal was not built to the requirements of the local authorities and it will not function without extensive renovation. No date has been set for the opening.
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
Malcolm Ginsberg, London
I must disagree with Mr Burke. Last week I used the subway from AMS without any ticketing problems. Buy an Oyster-style card and it is very easy.
John Burke, Sussex
Both Amsterdam and Rotterdam metro systems have cheerless stations where buying tickets requires a degree in computer studies. Mainline NS is even worse.