NETHERLANDS RAILWAYS

TRAIN SERVICES AND STATIONS

The Netherlands has one of the most impressive passenger rail systems in Europe, and was probably the first system to adopt hourly memory patterns. The Netherlands has a population density considerably greater than most of the U. S. Approximately 5 times that of Illinois, which has about 4 times the land area of the Netherlands. The Netherlands has a population density comparable to that of New Jersey, the most densely populated state. The Netherlands is approximately twice the size of New Jersey.

Covered here are the train operations at the largest stations in the Netherlands, including track numbers and services typically departing from each track. Included are links to Google Maps for each station. Maps are labeled with the track numbers at the station, along with markings identifying the direction of the various lines.

Many stations in the Netherlands have an innovative design, where many tracks are divided into "a" and "b" sections along the platform. Typically between two tracks serving platforms, there might be a third middle track, and crossovers connecting the middle track with the platform tracks at the halfway point along the platforms. This will enable a train to run around a train stopped along one half of the platform, and serve the other half of the platform on the same track. And other variations exist in splitting the tracks and platforms. This feature is not always used with regular operating patterns, some services use the entire length of the platform.

All tracks are numbered, including middle bypass tracks and express tracks not serving station platforms. Although only the platform track numbers are publicized, with other track numbers perceived by the public as skipped.

The quality of Google satellite imagery varies, and not all tracks are clearly visible. Some stations have large train sheds obscuring some trackage, including crossovers halfway along the platforms.

This map is from the Netherlands Railways web site. The name in Dutch is Nederlandse Spoorwegen, or NS.

Nederlandse Spoorwegen - official NS Web site, English is available.

Sporenplan Online - fan web site including track diagrams of NS and other European railways. English is not always available, but the track diagrams can generally be understood without knowing Dutch. The information from that web site was valuable in understanding the layouts of the stations, including track numbers.


PRINCIPAL PASSENGER ROUTES

This list is somewhat arbitrary, highlighting express and international routes.

Amsterdam-Haarlem-Leiden-Den Haag-Rotterdam-Roosendaal-Antwerpen (Belgium)
Amsterdam-Utrecht-Arnhem-Emmerich (Germany)
Amsterdam-Weesp-Hilversum-Amersfoort-Apeldoorn-Deventer-Almelo-Hengelo-Enschede
Utrecht-Geldermalsen-SHertogenbosch-Eindhoven-Roermond-Sittard-Maastricht
Rotterdam/Den Haag-Gouda-Woerden-Utrecht-Amersfoort-Zwolle-Leeuwarden/Groningen


NS STATIONS

Alkmaar

Almelo

Alphen a/d Rijn

Amersfoort

Amsterdam

Amsterdam Duivendrecht

Amsterdam Sloterdijk

Apeldoorn

Arnhem

Breda

Den Haag

Deventer

Dordrecht

Eindhoven

Enschede

Geldermalsen

Gouda

Groningen

Haarlem

Heerlen

Hengelo

Hilversum

Hoorn

Leeuwarden

Leiden

Maastricht

Nijmegen

Roermond

Roosendaal

Rotterdam

Schiphol Airport

S-Hertogenbosch

Sittard

Tilburg

Uitgeest

Utrecht

Venlo

Weesp

Woerden

Zaandam

Zutphen

Zwolle


NS SERVICES EXPLAINED
Explaining the NS services, the abbreviations, and descriptions of the longer and more complex routes.

Main lines are electrified at 1500 volts DC. NS continues to operate most electrified lines, while most diesel operated lines have been outsourced to different companies as indicated on the map. On the Google Maps linked from these pages, the markings identifying the directions for lines are blue for electrified lines and red for diesel operated lines.

Portions of this web site are "bilingual", with Dutch and English. Including general directions of through main line trains.


STATION LINKS

These web sites with information on stations are in Dutch, but tips are included on how to most easily make sense of the information. Also, the Google Chrome web browser includes the capability of translating a web page.

Stationsweb
The "spoorlijnen" link is most useful, which goes to a list of lines. Clicking on a line goes to a list of stations and kilometer measurements, with the opening and closing (sluiting) dates, and the original company (maatschappij). And clicking on a station goes to a collection of photos.

Stationsinfo
At the center of the home page, one can click on an Alphabetic register or a Chronological register (the Dutch words are similar) of stations. Which include the construction year (Bouwjaar).