One of the few times that I have lived away from Chicago, was when I was 10 years old. Our family lived in the Netherlands for a year. There I found fascination with the Netherlands Railways, or Nederlandse Spoorwegen. I returned to the Netherlands to visit once, in 1978. By then I was old enough to roam the country on my own by train. Perhaps I am a little biased because of my Dutch ancestry (and name), but the Netherlands has one of the finest passenger transportation systems in the world. Trains operate at least once an hour on "memory" patterns, with service at least twice an hour on most lines. Buses provide local service and are scheduled to connect with the trains. I tend to admire a transportation policy where gasoline is priced higher, and there is an abundance of public transportation. Driving thus becomes more of a luxury, not a necessity.
Unlike in the United States, passenger rail systems in Europe and much of the rest of the world were never allowed to deteriorate. This section illustrates how these progressive national railway systems can operate on regular hourly memory patterns, with services interconnecting at numerous multi track stations. Included are maps and links for stations, track numbers at each station, and the routes or services typically departing from each track.
Report on my main trip through Europe, riding the various railways. The trip lasted 5 weeks. And with no overnight rail travel, I rode 8300 miles in 11 countries.
Expanded coverage of travels in the Netherlands, which were two of the five weeks of the above trip.
These web sites provide further information on the extensive passenger transportation available throughout Europe. English is available with most sites.