THE DUTCH High Speed Alliance may be some way from launching services on HSL-Zuid (RG 11.07 p688), but at least its trains now have somewhere to live.

In November the Mayor of Amsterdam Job Cohen formally opened the newly-built Nedtrain workshop at Amsterdam Watergraafsmeer which will maintain locomotives and high speed trainsets for NS Hispeed. In the longer term, the depot will be home to the Ansaldobreda-built V250 Albatross sets, but for the moment only the ICE3 units used on services to Germany and the loco-hauled Benelux train sets are being serviced here.

Already delivered in time for the opening were two of the 12 multi-system Traxx Class 185 locomotives that NS Hispeed is leasing from Angel Trains to work the interim services on HSL-Zuid. Of these, three are being subleased to SNCB for the Antwerpen - Noorderkempen shuttle. Another three are being repainted in red livery and have been allocated to augment the Benelux fleet from March 2008, working alongside the increasingly-unreliable SNCB Class 1100 dual-system locos.