NS Intercity Materieel

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NS Class 4000/4200
NS Koploper ICM 4227 verlaat Utrecht Centraal.jpg
A refurbished set in Utrecht Centraal
In service1977 – present
Number built144
Formation3 cars (4000)
4 cars (4200)
Capacity4000 – 35 (1st), 163 (2nd)
4200 – 59 (1st), 198 (2nd)
Operator(s)NS Reizigers
Maximum speed140 km/h (87 mph) (Service) 159 km/h (99 mph) (Other)
Power output4000 – 1,248 kW (1,674 hp)
4200 – 1,872 kW (2,510 hp)
Electric system(s)1.5 kV DC Catenary
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
4001 at Venlo in April 1977 on a trial run
4005 abandoned in Utrecht in March 2009

The Intercity Materieel or ICM (EnglishIntercity Material or Intercity Rolling Stock) is an electric multiple unit (EMU) train type operated by the Nederlandse Spoorwegen in the Netherlands. The train got the nickname Koploper, because it had a so-called "walk through head". After these trains were modernised, the "walk through heads" were removed. The modernised train sets are referred to as Intercity Materieel Modern (ICMm).

The prototypes were built in 1977, and production lasted from 1983 to 1994 by Talbot. The first train sets came into service in 1977. Up to now, the trains run daily on the Dutch rail network and, together with the VIRM, form the most important equipment on services connecting the Randstad with the rest of the country.


  • Intercity Materieel
  • Koploper
  • ICM
  • ICMm

ICM is short for "Intercity Materieel", which means "Intercity rolling stock". The "m" in ICMm indicates that it is modernised. Koploper was the marketing term for the ICM. This name was chosen to indicate that you can walk through the front (kop).

General information[edit]

The trains are designed for long-distance intercity services. Their maximum allowed operating speed is 140 km/h, although their engines are designed to reach a top speed of 180 km/h. Their cabs are on the roof, which initially allowed through gangways between sets when coupled together, though the gangways were removed during their refurbishment, as they were deemed too unreliable. Refurbishment of sets began in late 2006 and completed in 2011. The trains have compartments in the 1st class accommodation.



In 1977, a prototype batch numbered 4001–4007 were delivered. They first operated between Eindhoven and Venlo and then later between Amsterdam and Nijmegen. These were taken out of service in 2003, as NS considered them to be too expensive to keep running.

ICM-1 and ICM-2[edit]

These were numbered 4011–4097 and were first introduced into service in 1983. All were delivered by 1990. These had been adjusted to remove the faults of the ICM-0. 4051–4097 are Thyristor controlled.

ICM-3 and ICM-4[edit]

Between 1990 and 1994, 50 4-car units were delivered, numbered 4201 – 4250. These have track brakes. Between 1996 and 2007, unit 4231 had a full coach converted to 1st class and was renumbered 4444. This unit only operated one train a day between Groningen and The Hague. It has since been converted back to a regular carriage, but it continued carrying number 4444 at first. After its revision in 2011, this unit was given its original number (4231) back.

Walk through head[edit]

The "walk through head" in operation

The train's name Koploper means "Frontrunner" but the name can also be seen as a reference to "walking through the head" ("Headwalker"(Dutch: "Doorloopkop")). When ICM units joined, the doors at the end of the train would come out, and a walkway would emerge, coupling with the other set and allowing passengers and crew to walk through to the next set. (This makes it easy for conductors to check tickets and check on the security of the passengers. In addition, each set had catering cars before they were abolished in 2003.) However, since 31 October 2005, these were put out of use. The reason given was that they were not often used, but they also had many technical problems that made the trains late on a regular basis. During their refurbishment from 2006 onwards, these hallways were permanently sealed shut and the doors at the heads of the train were replaced by a light polyester plate, saving the NS maintenance costs.

Refurbishment and renewal[edit]

4012 at Apeldoorn

From November 2006, the Koploper went through a process of refurbishment. The 4011–4097 series first went into a renovation. The first train left NedTrain's workshop in Haarlem in April 2007 and then put into the regular service. To distinguish the not yet modernized sets from the modernized sets, modernized train sets are referred to as ICMm. These sets feature new interiors with 13% more seats. One could distinguish apparent differences between 1st and 2nd Class. The first class consists of red seats and second class consists of blue seats, equal to SGMm units. Meanwhile, one improved the wheelchair toilet, installed air conditioning, OBIS, and digital travel information. On the exterior, the train sets were repainted showing blue window surrounds curving at the ends of units. Numbers are now nearer the front of the train. The connectors diverting the train compartments were revealed and digital destination screens were put at the trains ends. The renewal of the series 4011–4097 completed in June 2010. Refurbishing and renewing of the 4-car units took place between February 2010 and July 2011.


4028 at Zwolle
Olympic livery

Between 1986 and 2002 many sets featured adverts.

  • In 1986, in relation to the opening of the Amsterdam–Schiphol railway line, two units were painted in the colours of airplanes; 4011 was painted in KLM colours and 4012 in the colours of Martinair
  • 4011, 4012 and 4024 were painted in the colours of Aegon
  • 4050 was painted in the colours of Randstad and later in De Lage Landen colours
  • 4023 advertised the Groningen Museum, but in NS colours from 1999; this train had white doors at the end and also featured altered interiors
  • 4028 was temporarily stickered as a Children's Book Week Train in 2004
  • 4201, 4240 and 4241 had Orange Olympic adverts, which featured sportsman on the side of the train. VIRM 9520 and 9525 also featured Orange Olympic adverts; during the refurbishments, these adverts were removed

Services operated[edit]

Series Train Type Route Material Notes
500 Intercity Rotterdam CentraalRotterdam AlexanderGoudaUtrecht CentraalAmersfoortZwolleAssenGroningen ICM, DDZ
600 Rotterdam CentraalRotterdam AlexanderGoudaUtrecht CentraalAmersfoortZwolleMeppelSteenwijkHeerenveenLeeuwarden
700 Den Haag CentraalLeiden CentraalSchiphol AirportAmsterdam Zuid - Almere CentrumLelystad Centrum - ZwolleAssenGroningen
1400 Nachtnet Utrecht CentraalAmsterdam CentraalSchipholLeiden CentraalDen Haag HSDelftRotterdam Centraal ICM, DDZ, VIRM
1500 Intercity Amsterdam CentraalHilversumAmersfoort - ApeldoornDeventer ICM One train per hour extended to Deventer
1600 Schiphol AirportAmsterdam ZuidDuivendrechtHilversumAmersfoortApeldoornDeventerAlmeloHengeloEnschede ICM, VIRM
1700 Den Haag CentraalGoudaUtrecht CentraalAmersfoortApeldoornDeventerAlmeloHengeloEnschede
1800 Den Haag CentraalLeiden CentraalSchiphol AirportAmsterdam Zuid - Almere CentrumLelystad Centrum - ZwolleMeppelSteenwijkHeerenveenLeeuwarden ICM, DDZ
2000 Den Haag CentraalGoudaUtrecht Centraal ICM, DDZ
2300 DordrechtBreda FLIRT (used to be ICM) This service only operates 1 time per hour and until 8:00 pm and on Sundays after 11:00 am.

since 9 December 2018 FLIRT

2600 Amsterdam CentraalAlmere Centrum ICM
3600 Zwolle - Wijhe - Olst - Deventer - Zutphen - Dieren - Arnhem Centraal - Nijmegen - Oss - 's-Hertogenbosch - Tilburg - Breda - Etten-Leur - Roosendaal
6200 Sprinter AssenHaren - Groningen EuropaparkGroningen
8100 Sprinter ZwolleMeppelHoogeveenBeilenAssenHaren - Groningen EuropaparkGroningen


This service only operates once per hour on Sundays until 4:00 pm.
8800 Intercity Leiden CentraalLeiden Lammenschans - Alphen aan den Rijn - Bodegraven - Woerden - Utrecht Centraal ICM, DDZ
9000 Sprinter MeppelSteenwijkWolvegaHeerenveenAkkrumGrou-JirnsumLeeuwarden ICM
11400 Intercity Rotterdam Centraal - Gouda ICM, VIRM
11600 Schiphol AirportAmsterdam ZuidDuivendrechtHilversumAmersfoortAmersfoort Schothorst
11700 Den Haag CentraalGoudaUtrecht CentraalAmersfoortAmersfoort Schothorst