The Dutch transport minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen initially thought it was a joke.
She has called for all Dutch trains to – once again – have toilets on board by 2025. NS has expressed surprise at the fuss being made about the ‘pee bags’.
In the meantime, guards will issue Travel John bags to passengers who are caught short during journeys. When they’re finished with, the bags can be sealed and thrown away.
The bags have a cup-shaped plastic top and contain a highly absorbent material to transform urine into a gel-like mixture.
Once the pee-bag has turned into something resembling a stress-relief ball, it can be sealed and tossed in the garbage.
The general public has long been unhappy with the short-haul trains’ bathroomless design.
Dutch national television interviewed several rail passengers expressed their displeasure.
“Are you serious? No, no way, I just can’t see myself doing ‘it’ in that,” one female passenger an early morning news show.
With their workspace turned into a bathroom, Dutch train drivers were not so keen on the idea either.
“When I first heard about it, I thought it was a joke.” Wim Eilert of the country’s driver’s union (VVMC) told the ANP news agency.
“To let people pee where somebody else needs to work, that will not do. It’s distasteful,” he added
Ineke Van Gent, public transport spokeswoman for the GreenLeft party, told the Dutch parliament: “It is madness that we will soon have internet access on all trains – but no toilets.”