Snow storm Darcy batters the Netherlands, disrupting rail and road traffic

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The Netherlands woke up to wintry scenes on Sunday, with a layer of snow covering most of the country apart from the far south and north. The snow and strong winds are expected to continue for most of the day, but it could be well into evening before it stops in the north, weather forecasters say. The transport ministry’s roads authority has sprayed 17 million kilos of salt on the roads since Saturday evening in an effort to keep them clear. Nevertheless, there have been a string of accidents due to the difficult conditions and the slip road between the A15 and the A4 was closed for a time after a lorry jack-knifed. The ANWB motoring organisation is recommending people stay home unless their journeys are absolutely necessary. Problems on the railways have led to all trains being cancelled until midday at least. A spokesman for rail operator Prorail said the blizzard was making it difficult to fix problems as they occur. ‘We are trying to release the points from the snow, but as soon as they are clear, they are covered up again,’ one railway engineer said. Eindhoven airport has also closed and the handful of incoming flights expected are being diverted to Cologne. Schiphol airport is recommending travellers check with their airline and warns there may be delays.