EUROPE TRIP/SUMMER 1978

Netherlands Railways
Zwolle 1978 Station Timetable

These station timetables indicated the departure times (tijd) using the 24 hour clock, and the track number (spoor). Like many major stations in the Netherlands, many track numbers are followed by "a" or "b". Between many station platforms instead of a customary 2 tracks, there are often 3 tracks, with the middle track not accessing a platform. And at the halfway point along the platforms, there are crossovers. The center track would enable a train to bypass a train standing on one half of a platform track, and allow the train to access the other half of that platform track. This allowed for efficient track utilization at a station.

The main line "Intercity" express service extended southwest to Amsterdam, Den Haag or Rotterdam, all via Amersfoort, and extended north to Groningen or Leeuwarden. Service was basically twice an hour. Trains to Den Haag and Rotterdam typically left at 18 after the hour, while trains to Amsterdam left at 47 after the hour, normally on track 1a. The trains to Den Haag and Rotterdam would be split at Utrecht. The station timetable notes those combined trains as "voor" (forward) for Den Haag, or "achter" (rear) for Rotterdam. Passengers would thus need to pay attention to the signs displayed on the train, to insure that they are not on the part of the train which splits to the wrong destination.

Intercity service west of Amersfoort alternated between Amsterdam, or combined or split Den Haag or Rotterdam. Hourly on each route west of Amersfoort. But actually, half hourly service was available. Because there was a similar Intercity service to and from Amsterdam Den Haag or Rotterdam, which operated directly east of Amersfoort to and from Enschede. That service was scheduled so that cross platform transfers were available at Amersfoort, if it was the time of the hour when the train was not direct.

The northbound Intercity trains typically left for Groningen at 14 after the hour, and for Leeuwarden at 17 after the hour, all from track 3a. These were trains which came from the west combined, and were splitting at Zwolle. The other half hourly northbound Intercity trains arriving, would turn into a "stoptrein", which literally means "stop train", or a local train. Those trains would leave at 48 after the hour from track 3a. And at the next stop which was Meppel, trains would split for Groningen or Leeuwarden.

Track 1 (a or b) was next to the station building, and track 2 was not a platform track but the center access track. Track 3 (a or b) and track 5 (a or b) were served by an island platform. Track 4 existed at the west end of that island platform, where the platform was narrower, with track 4 between track 3 and the platform. Track 4 was used by the Amersfoort "stoptreinen" (plural for local trains). And track 5a was normally used by trains operating south to Deventer and points beyond.

West of the station building were two stub tracks and an island platform, tracks 10 and 13. Track 10 was normally used by the diesel powered trains west to Kampen. And east of the station building were stub tracks 11, 12, and 15. Track 11 was normally used by an additional hourly "stoptrein" between Zwolle and Groningen, along with diesel service east to Enschede. And track 15 was normally used by trains northeast to Emmen, diesel at the time but since electrified.