Transportation in the Netherlands

Transportation in the Netherlands

Rolling stock
By country
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Rail transport

Railway tracks

Missing image


  • all standard gauge (1.435 m) (from 1839 till the early 1850s 1.945 m; it was regretted because Germany and Belgium had 1.435 m, see [1] (
  • total: 2,809 km (multiple track counted once)
  • electrified: 2,061 km (2001), 1,500 volt DC, see w:nl:Elektrificatie#Nederland.
  • single track: 931 km.
  • total length of tracks 6,505 km (multiple track counted multiple times).
  • 3,004 level crossings, of which 2,144 protected.

Two new lines are being constructed: the HSL (see below) and a freight line from Rotterdam to Germany, the Betuweroute.

The Hanzelijn project is a planned railway line Lelystad-Dronten-Kampen and upgrading of the stretch Kampen-Zwolle.

A maglev Amsterdam - Almere - Lelystad - Emmeloord - Heerenveen - Drachten - Groningen (city) is being planned, possibly to be constructed from 2010.

Two new railway arcs were ready in December 2003:

  • Hemboog between Schiphol/Amsterdam-Lelylaan and Zaandam, bypassing the crossing at Amsterdam Sloterdijk (see [2] ( Hemboog at Amsterdam Sloterdijk. It provides a direct connection between Schiphol and Zaandam / Hoorn. It would also allow a direct train service from Schiphol to Alkmaar, but that is not provided yet.
  • Gooiboog between Hilversum/Naarden-Bussum and Almere Muziekwijk (see [3] (
Missing image
The "Utrechtboog" each track over a separate viaduct, still under construction. Some catenary poles are already mounted. Photo 16 May 2005

A third arc being constructed is:

ProRail takes care of maintenance and extensions of the national railway network infrastructure (not the metro or tram), allocating rail capacity, and traffic control.

The rail capacity supplied by ProRail is used by five public transport operators (see below) as well as cargo operators: Railion, ERS, ACTS, Shortlines. Also there is Herik Rail, with seven carriages, where trains can be chartered for parties, meetings, etc.

Not operational is the NESM Nostalgie Expresse.

See also (

There are two crossings of regular railway lines, both non-level and with a station providing stops on both lines: Amsterdam Sloterdijk (ass) and Duivendrecht (dvd). A third crossing ( is under construction east of Zoetermeer, also non-level but without stops, one line is the HSL.

Non-electrified lines

(with timetable number)

  • Groningen-Delfzijl 84
  • Groningen-Roodeschool 83
  • Groningen-Nieuweschans Grens 85
  • Groningen-Leeuwarden 80
  • Leeuwarden-Harlingen 81
  • Leeuwarden-Stavoren 82
  • Zwolle-Kampen 63
  • Zwolle-Wierden 65
  • Almelo-Marienberg 72
  • Zutphen-Hengelo 73
  • Enschede-Glanerbrug Grens 522
  • Zutphen-Apeldoorn 67
  • Zutphen-Winterswijk 71
  • Arnhem-Winterswijk 70
  • Arnhem-Tiel 68
  • Nijmegen-Roermond 29
  • Landgraaf-Landgraaf Grens 525

Railways for public transport

Trains have 1st and 2nd class.

See also:

International trains

See also Rail_transport_by_country#Europe.

Night service

There is a night service, called Nachtnet (Night Network, although it is just a single U-shaped line) with an hourly service connecting Rotterdam Central, Delft, The Hague Central, Leiden Central, Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam Central, Utrecht Central (i.e., most of the large cities in the Randstad as well as the main airport). Due to the U-shape, the travelling time from the first four stations to Utrecht is longer than during the day. (Other little map, also showing the railway line itself (*%2F*%2F*&ssbinary=true)) Template:Map of cities served by the Dutch railways night service

Off-Peak Discount Pass

See rush hour.

Public transport in general

Missing image
Public transport authorities in the Netherlands; see nl:OV-autoriteit (in Dutch)

For metro and tram there are no night services. There are night buses in a number of cities, usually on Friday and Saturday night only, sometimes only during the first part of the night, and per line often in one direction only; e.g. the Connexxion-Niteliner (

A public transport pass for train (2nd class), bus, metro and tram costs 3210.50 euro/year (2005). It is also valid on the ferries Vlissingen-Breskens, Amsterdam-IJmuiden and Rotterdam-Dordrecht. It is not valid on most other ferries, nor on the Thalys. Night services by train are included, those by bus are not.

Other public transport

All metros and trams and almost all buses share the National Tariff System. For buses exceptions are:

See also List of airports in the Netherlands.


(all standard gauge (1.435 m))

Tram / light rail

(all standard gauge (1.435 m))

  • Rotterdam, Schiedam, operated by RET
    • lines: 1 Schiedam Woudhoek - CS - De Esch, 2 Charlois - Lombardijen NS, 4 Molenlaan - CS - Heemraadsplein, 5 Schiebroek - CS - Willemsplein, 7 Spangen - CS - Woudestein, 8 Spangen - CS - Oostplein, 20 CS - Lombardijen, 23 CS - Beverwaard, 25 CS - Carnisselande.
  • Utrecht, Nieuwegein, IJsselstein, operated by Connexxion (light rail in the sense of intermediate form between tram and train, with its own right-of-way, with level crossings with priority).
    • Stops for both branches: Moreelsepark - Stadsbusstation - Westplein - Graadt van Roggenweg - Ziekenhuis Oudenrijn - Vijf Meiplein - Vasco da Gamalaan - Kanaleneiland Zuid - Westraven - Zuilenstein - Batau Noord - Wijckersloot - Nieuwegein Centrum.
    • Further stops for Nieuwegein branche: Merwestein - Fokkesteeg - Wiersdijk - Nieuwegein Zuid.
    • Further stops for IJsselstein branche: St. Antonius Ziekenhuis - Doorslag - Hooge Waard - Eiteren - Clinckhoef - Achterveld.
  • Houten, operated by NS (light rail line, could be called metro, though not underground, with its own right-of-way, without level crossings).
    • power 1500 volt DC (tram has been adapted with a so-called 'downchopper' to allow the use of this higher voltage), overhead wires
    • picture: [7] (

Randstad Rail and other lightrail projects

Randstad Rail (named after the Randstad agglomeration) is a project (expected to be operative in 2006) to:

  • connect the Erasmus Line of the Rotterdam metro system to the existing railway Hofplein Line that is converted from heavy rail to light rail, allowing the Rotterdam metro trains to run to the Hague Centraal railway station; at the north end of the Hofplein Line a new connection is made with the Hague Centraal to keep heavy rail and light rail apart;
  • connect tram lines 3 and 6 in The Hague with the existing railway Zoetermeer Line that is also converted from heavy rail to light rail and is extended with a new Oosterheem Line which will become part of line 6; existing tram tracks are adapted for longer and wider vehicles

See, [8] ( (pdf), and [9] (

There are plans for the construction of a light rail line between Maastricht and Kerkrade.

See also RijnGouweLijn.


A special bus line around Amsterdam is the Zuidtangent, which has largely its own bus lane, with priority at crossings [10] (

Route: Haarlem - Hoofddorp - Schiphol Airport - Amstelveen - Amsterdam southeast

Arnhem has an electric trolleybus system.

Bus companies include Arriva, Connex, Connexxion, Hermes, NoordNed, Syntus.

Hermes ( operates in the southeast of the Netherlands.


total: 125,575 km
paved: 113,018 km (including 2,235 km of expressways)
unpaved: 12,557 km (1998 est.) National highways (incomplete) (see [11] (

  • A1 Amsterdam - Oldenzaal (De Lutte) - Germany (A30)
  • A2/E35/E25 Amsterdam - Maastricht- Visé (Belgium)
  • A4/E19 Amsterdam - Den haag / Intersection Markiezaat - Belgium Border (Antwerp)
  • A6 Muiderberg (A1) - Joure (A7)
  • A7 Zaandam - Afsluitdijk - Groningen - Nieuweschans - Germany (A280)
  • A8 Coentunnel - Assendelft
  • A9 Alkmaar - Diemen (A1)
  • A10 Ring-road Amsterdam
  • A12/E30/E25/E35 Den Haag - Gouda - Utrecht - Arnhem - Zevenaar - Bergh (German border A3)
  • A13/E19 Den Haag (A4)- Rotterdam (A20)
  • A15 Elst (at intersection A 352) - Tiel - Gorinchem - Dordrecht - Rotterdam
  • A16/E19 Rotterdam - Dordrecht - Breda - Belgium
  • A20/E25 Maasdijk - Rotterdam - Gouda
  • A30 A12 connection between Ede/De Klomp - Barneveld - A1
  • A50 Zwolle - Apeldoorn - Arnhem (from there till Wolfheze parallel to A12) - Wolfheze - Heteren - (intersecting A15) - Ravestein - Oss (continuing in A59 to Eindhoven).
  • A348 Arnhem Velperbroek (A12) - Dieren
  • A352 Arnhem - Nijmegen
See also Category:Motorways in the Netherlands


5046 km, of which 47% is usable by craft of 1000 metric ton capacity or larger, see List of waterways and [12] (


crude oil 418 km; petroleum products 965 km; natural gas 10,230 km

Ports and harbors

Amsterdam, Delfzijl, Den Helder, Dordrecht, Eemshaven, Groningen, Haarlem, IJmuiden, Maastricht, Rotterdam, Terneuzen, Utrecht, Vlissingen)

Merchant marine

total: 563 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 4,035,899 GRT/4,576,841 DWT
ships by type: bulk 3, cargo 343, chemical tanker 41, combination bulk 2, container 56, liquified gas 20, livestock carrier 1, multi-functional large load carrier 8, passenger 8, petroleum tanker 25, refrigerated cargo 32, roll-on/roll-off 16, short-sea passenger 3, specialized tanker 5 (1999 est.)
note: many Dutch-owned ships are also operating under the registry of Netherlands Antilles (1998 est.)


See List of airports in the Netherlands

See also

External links

Railway maps:

Line maps for other public transport:

  • Amsterdam [14] (
  • Arnhem [15] ( (not up-to-date)
  • Dordrecht and Werkendam [16] ( (consists of part of the NS map mentioned below with bus lines added)
  • Eindhoven [17] (, [18] (
  • Nijmegen [19] (
  • Renesse [20] (
  • Roosendaal [21] (
  • Rotterdam [22] (
  • The Hague all (, tram (, bus (
  • free buses The Hague - Noordwijk/Oegstgeest [23] (
  • Utrecht (city) [24] (
  • Zoetermeer [25] (

The maps by Carto Studio's (, though meant only as examples, may also be of some use.

Oddly and unfortunately, for large parts of the Netherlands bus line maps do not seem to be available on the web. However, they are often posted at bus stops and can sometimes also be obtained on paper in bus information offices (sometimes in a less detailed version, e.g. without bus stops being marked). Connexxion has 13 maps on paper that can be sent by mail on request, see Connexxion maps (

Maps showing all streets and also public transport

General map showing railways and stations well (i.e. also in smaller scales), but, oddly, without station names:

  • NS rail travel planner ( - contains a detailed map of the whole country; to view a location, specify it as destination and choose an arbitrary point of departure, then ask for the route map of the post transport from the station. If you specify "Public transport" as means of pre or post transport, you will be redirected to with the corresponding map.

General maps showing railways well, but stations only in larger scales,

  • Multimap ( - with station names
  • Vialys ( - with station names popping up

General map showing railways well, but stations only when highly zoomed in, and no station names:

  • Yellow pages / Telephone directory ( - A map (plattegrond) is provided after searching for a company or person; if one just wants to use the map, do an arbitrary search like [26] (, select Plattegrond and by zooming out and selecting an area to zoom in go to any part of the map.

Of these three, only the NS map shows metro lines, without stations, and none show tram or bus lines. shows only the single bus stop concerned on the map, not the line or the other stops.

For general maps see also Geography of the Netherlands. There are hardly any maps on Internet that show virtually all streets as well as tram or bus lines (the maps of Dordrecht and Werkendam mentioned above seem to be the only ones, with on the latter not all lines). However, such maps are available on paper for many cities.

Lighthouse patterns

nl:Nederland - Transport


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