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Entire Dutch rail network disrupted by communications breakdown

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By AP
Shipping containers at a terminal in the port of Rotterdam.
Shipping containers at a terminal in the port of Rotterdam.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Peter Dejong, FILE

The Dutch rail network ground to a temporary halt on Thursday. The country's national railway company, Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS), halted all trains in late afternoon after a communications breakdown between drivers and traffic managers.

In a statement posted on its website at 7.35pm, NS said that the service had slowly begun to resume but would be disrupted for the rest of the evening.

"Train traffic in the Netherlands has been severely disrupted by a disruption at the traffic control posts earlier today," NS said. "Because staff and trains are stranded in many places, we expect train traffic to remain disrupted for the rest of the evening... Please postpone your trip if possible."

It was not immediately clear how many people were affected. But the halt has left many commuters stranded on the way home from work.