MORE TALES of woe reach us from the Netherlands, where Parliament has commissioned an independent investigation by the National Audit Office into the much-delayed HSL-Zuid and Betuwe Route projects.Trigger for the vote was the confirmation by Transport Minister Karla Peijs on Decem-ber 19 that services on HSL-Zuid would not start before December 2007 at the earliest, following her announcement of further delays to the Betuwe Route (RG 1.07 p5).Originally expected in 2005, the opening of HSL-Zuid had gradually slipped back to April 2007. As we have reported at length, problems sourcing ETCS Level 2-equipped trains led operating concessionaire HSA to develop an interim service using leased locos and coaches. The intention was that this would start running every two hours in July and become hourly from September. The AnsaldoBreda V250 trainsets ordered for domestic and Benelux services are now expected to be delivered at the end of 2008 and enter service the following year.According to Mrs Peijs, the interim service cannot begin before December because of delays in commissioning the ERTMS radio block centres, interlockings and axle-counters. In addition, subsidence near Leiden required 800?m of track to be rebuilt over four months at a cost of k10m.The latest delay will also have implications for NS, as the transfer of inter-city services to the new line was intended to release paths for more intensive stopping services.Meanwhile, the operating concessionaire for the chequered freight line has scrapped its name change to Searail Ltd and reverted to Betuwe Route Exploitatiemaatschappij.