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Transportation in the Netherlands

Transportation in the Netherlands

Table of contents

Rail transport (heavy rail)

Railway tracks

  • all standard gauge (1.435 m);
  • total: 2,809 km (multiple track counted once)
  • electrified: 2,061 km (2001), 1,500 volt DC.
  • 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. [1] (http://www.betuweroute.nl/indexnew?tid=1)

Two railway arcs will be ready in December 2003:

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.

Railways for public transport

Trains have 1st and 2nd class.

A public transport pass for train (2nd class), bus, metro and tram costs 2928,50 euro/year. 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.

International trains:

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. Due to the U-shape, the travelling time from the first four stations to Utrecht is longer than during the day.

There are 384 train stations, divided into three categories; in order of decreasing importance:

  • Intercity stations, where all trains halt (except that international trains do not halt on some intercity stations).
  • Sneltrein stations, where semi-express and local trains halt.
  • The remaining stations, where only local trains halt.

However, on many lines there are only two categories of trains (intercity and local), or only one (local).

New stations from December 2003:

  • Utrecht Terwijde between Vleuten and Utrecht
  • Tilburg Reeshof [2] (http://www.stationreeshof.tk/) [3] (http://www.aaveste.nl/tilburg/index) between Gilze-Rijen and Tilburg-West (however, due to rail capacity shortage, opening of the station may have to be postponed).

Passenger comfort suffers from beggars, thiefs, etc. and also from measures against them, e.g. the removal of benches from the hall of Den Haag Centraal station in 2003.

See also Trains in the Netherlands.

Other public transport

All metros, trams and buses (except the neighborhood buses) share the National Tariff System (https://www.vbn-bv.nl/ovinfo/home_en.asp).

Metro systems (all standard gauge (1.435 m)):

Tram / light rail systems (all standard gauge (1.435 m)):

  • Amsterdam, Diemen, Amstelveen, operated by GVB
    • power 600 volt DC
    • the line to Amstelveen partly runs on metro track, therefore the light rail vehicles on this line are capable of using 600 volt DC as well as 750 volt DC
    • lines: 1 CS - Osdorp De Aker, 2 CS - Nieuw Sloten, 3 Zoutkeetsgracht - Muiderpoort station, 4 CS - Rai NS, 5 CS - Amstelveen Binnenhof, 6 CS - Plantage Parklaan, 7 Bos en Lommerplein - Javaplein, 9 CS - Diemen Sniep, 10 Van Hallstraat - Javaplein, 12 Amstel station - Station Sloterdijk, 13 CS - Geuzenveld Lambertus Zijlplein, 14 Slotermeer - Flevopark, 16 CS - Olympiaweg, 17 CS - Osdorp Dijkgraafplein, 24 CS - Olympiaweg, 25 CS - Pres. Kennedylaan
    • Projects:
      • extension line 10 to Java Island
      • extension line 16 VU Hospital (opening expected on 14 December 2003)
      • construction of IJ-line (26) (first part expected to open in 2004)
      • 155 new trams of the type Combino of Siemens AG Verkehrstechnik

  • Rotterdam, Schiedam, operated by RET
    • lines: 1 Schiedam Woudhoek - CS - De Esch, 2 Charlois - Lombardijen NS, 3 Kleiweg NS - CS - Diergaarde Blijdorp, 4 Molenlaan - CS - Marconiplein(M) - (in peak hours to Schiedam Broersvest), 5 Schiebroek - CS - Willemsplein, 7 Spangen - CS - Woudestein, 8 Spangen - CS - Oostplein, 20 CS - Beverwaard, 23 CS - Feijenoord Stadion

  • 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

Randstad[?] Rail is a plan (expected to be operative in 2006) to:

  • connect the Erasmus Line of the Rotterdam metro system to the existing railway Hofplein Line that would be 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 would be 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 would also be converted from heavy rail to light rail and would be extended with a new Oosterheem Line which would become part of line 6; existing tram tracks would be adapted for longer and wider vehicles
(see www.randstadrail.nl (http://www.randstadrail.nl)).

In 2003 construction will start of a light rail line between Maastricht and Kerkrade.

See also RijnGouweLijn.

A special bus line is the Zuidtangent, which has largely its own bus lane, with priority at crossings.

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

Arnhem has an electric trolleybus system.

See also Airports below.

Other transport

total: 125,575 km
paved: 113,018 km (including 2,235 km of expressways)
unpaved: 12,557 km (1998 est.)

Waterways: 5,046 km, of which 47% is usable by craft of 1,000 metric ton capacity or larger, see List of waterways and [4] (http://www.binnenvaart.be/htm/02ws/021waterwegenkaarten.htm).

Pipelines: 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.)

Airports: 28 (1999 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 19
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 1 (1999 est.)
The largest airport by far is Schiphol Airport near Amsterdam, which is actually one of the largest of Europe. Smaller airports with regular passenger service are Zestienhoven near Rotterdam, Eelde near Groningen, Twenthe airport near Enschede, Eindhoven airport and Maastricht-Aachen airport.

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 9
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 6 (1999 est.)

Heliports: 1 (1999 est.)

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