Maastricht railway station
Maastricht is a railway station located in Maastricht, Netherlands. It is the main railway station in Limburgs capital. It is the final destination of the Alkmaar - Maastricht intercity service. Additionally, NS, Veolia and the Belgian NMBS serve the station with local trains.
The station was opened on 23 October 1853, when the international Maastricht-Aachen railway was opened. In 1856, a railway connection with Hasselt was opened. Both lines are now closed. In 1861, the Liège-Maastricht railway connection was opened. It was not before the opening of the Maastricht–Venlo railway, in 1865, that domestic destinations outside of the region could be reached from Maastricht.
Due to the fortified character of the town, the first railway station was in fact situated outside of Maastricht, on grounds of the municipality of Meerssen. The first station was built out of wood, so that in case of enemy attack, the station could quickly be demolished. It was not before 1907 that the municipality borders were adjusted and the station became part of the municipality of Maastricht. The current, brick building was built in 1913, designed by George Willem van Heukelom. Inside the station was room for border customs, as international trains arrived in Maastricht. Still, once per hour a train from Belgium arrives in Maastricht, but as Belgium and The Netherlands are both in the Schengen zone, there are no passport and security checks present in Maastricht any longer. The space is now used for small shops, such as a flower boutique, Albert Heijn, HEMA and some snack stores.
There are plans for reopening the railway connection to Hasselt, as a tramway connection. Twice an hour, a tram should run from Maastricht station through the center to the nearby town of Lanaken, and further as a light rail train to Bilzen and Hasselt. According to plan, the first passengers should be able to travel by tram in 2018.
The following services currently call at Maastricht:
- 2x per hour intercity services (Schagen -) Alkmaar - Amsterdam - Utrecht - Eindhoven - Maastricht
- 2x per hour express services (sneltrein) Maastricht - Heerlen
- 2x per hour local services (sprinter) Roermond - Sittard - Maastricht Randwyck
- 1x per hour local service (stoptrein) Maastricht - Liège-Guillemins
- 2x per hour local services (stoptrein) Maastricht Randwyck - Heerlen - Kerkrade Centrum