Railway stations in the Netherlands

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Railways in the Netherlands

There are 397 railway stations in the Netherlands,[1] including four which are used only during special events and one which serves the National Railway Museum only.

NS Stations is the body which manages all railway stations in the Netherlands.[2]


This image shows the standard style of station name board: white on blue, with a white square in the upper-left corner.

Stations are divided into two categories based upon the service they receive. These are, in order of decreasing importance:

  • Intercity stations, where usually all trains (except, in some cases, international services) call.
  • The remaining stations, where only local trains (Sprinters) call.

There are exceptions to this categorization. Some local trains – despite being called stoptreinen – do not stop at all stations: two examples are the services from Groningen to Roodeschool and from Tiel to Arnhem.

On the route diagrams printed at the top of station departure sheets (see this example), intercity stations and semi-fast train stations are indicated by the letters IC and S respectively.

ProRail classify stations into 5 categories based upon the facilities available. The categories are (in English): Cathedral, Mega, Plus, Basic and Stop.[3]

Largest stations[edit]

In this order, these are the ten largest Dutch railway stations by number of passengers a day:[4]

  1. Utrecht Centraal
  2. Amsterdam Centraal
  3. Rotterdam Centraal
  4. The Hague Centraal
  5. Schiphol Airport
  6. Eindhoven
  7. Leiden Centraal
  8. The Hague Hollands Spoor
  9. 's-Hertogenbosch
  10. Amsterdam Sloterdijk

Naming conventions[edit]

Stations are generally named after the town they serve. In cases where a town is served by more than one station, additional designations specify the station's status or location, for example:

  • Centraal (abbreviated "CS"): "Central" – a town's most important station with more than 40,000 daily passengers.
  • Centrum: "Centre" – a town's most important station with, however, fewer than 40,000 daily passengers, and/or a centrally located station.
  • Zuid: "South"
  • Noord: "North"
  • Oost: "East"
  • West: "West"
  • A specific locality within the town, e.g. Amsterdam Sloterdijk railway station.

In the converse situation, where one station serves two communities, both community names are given, separated by a hyphen, e.g. Krommenie-Assendelft.

Currently only six stations are designated Centraal. They are: Amsterdam Centraal, Arnhem Centraal, Den Haag Centraal, Leiden Centraal, Rotterdam Centraal, and Utrecht Centraal.

List of stations, with their official abbreviations[edit]


Almere Centrum


Boxtel (has been replaced)




Delft (old defunct station)
Den Haag HS











Leiden Centraal


Classic design station (type NFLS) in Marrum. No longer in use









Schiedam Centrum


Tiel Passewaaij


Utrecht Terwijde









The stations below all have revenue passenger tracks running in only one direction. Those marked with a * do have tracks in both direction but one direction is only used for freight and/or as a tourist line, except for Groningen and Enschede who have passenger service in both directions but no through services. See also Train station#Terminus.

Recent stations[edit]

New stations from 2004[edit]

New stations from 2005[edit]

New stations from 2006[edit]

Closing stations in 2006[edit]

Both lines were transferred from the Dutch Railways to the light rail network of RandstadRail. Some of these stations were closed permanently, others have been converted for light rail use.

New stations from 2007[edit]

New station from 2008[edit]

New stations from 2009[edit]

New stations from 2010[edit]

New stations from 2011[edit]

Station closed in 2011[edit]

New stations from 2012[edit]

New stations from 2013[edit]

New station from 2014[edit]

New station from 2015[edit]

New station from 2016[edit]

Station closed in 2016[edit]

Stations closed in 2017[edit]

Future stations[edit]

Future planned stations after 2016:

Platforms and tracks[edit]

Not the platforms, but the tracks are numbered. In Dutch communication, NS refers to "spoor 1" ("track 1"), etc. while in English communication, NS refers to "platform 1" where "track 1" is meant (hence all island platforms have two numbers). Tracks without platform access, used for through traffic, also have a number. This number is not indicated, but it shows indirectly by the fact that in the numbering of the accessible tracks a number is skipped. Track numbers are usually increasing in the direction away from the centre of the city and hence away from the main entrance(s) of the station.

A track along a long platform may have an "a" and a "b"-side, and sometimes three sections "a", "b" and "c".

At many stations, above platforms and/or at their access points, there are dynamic displays (electronic displays) of the destination and departure time of the next train (see railway platform signs (nl)).

Machines and counters for train tickets[edit]

For checking in and out with an OV-chipkaart card readers are at station entrances, halls and/or platforms. It can be recharged (increasing the credit by paying an amount) at ticket machines. The anonymous variety of the card can also be purchased here. For some minor rail operators all this does not apply yet.

Paper tickets are available from the same ticket machines; at the counter (if available) a supplement of €0.50 per ticket (with a maximum of €1 per occasion) has to be paid. In both cases one can choose a dated or undated ticket; the latter can be useful if one has not decided yet about the travel date. If the ticket is not dated it requires a stamp from a stamp machine on the travel date.

With an e-ticket bought in advance for a specific journey one can just get on the train without any further validation of the ticket.

NS Stations[edit]

NS Stations (Dutch pronunciation: [ɛn ɛs staːˈʃɔns]) is a Dutch company that manages and exploits over 400 railway stations in the Netherlands.[5]

Safety and comfort[edit]

Passenger comfort sometimes suffers from (homeless) beggars or pickpockets, especially in large cities. Measures taken to remedy this include installation of CCTV, locking waiting rooms in the evening, and sometimes removal of benches from station halls. Also, a valid train ticket is required to access platforms. Passengers with large luggage should note that no luggage trolleys are provided (except at the station of Schiphol airport), although platforms are accessible by elevator.

Station abbreviations[edit]

The official abbreviations of names of stations are used internally by the NS, but also on handwritten tickets; they can also conveniently be used when entering a station in the NS planner on http://www.ns.nl (but not on http://www.9292ov.nl) and are needed in some URLs, see below. In a station it can be found in the lower right corner of the yellow departure schedules. In most URLs (see below) they have to be written in lowercase, in some a capital is optional. On the departure schedules they are written in lowercase. In other cases the abbreviations are written with a capital letter. For a list sorted by abbreviation see nl:Lijst van afkortingen van Nederlandse spoorwegstations.

Stations also have a four-digit code that is used on the keypad of older ticket machines to specify a destination.


Positions of multiple stations in one city, 1936
Positions of multiple stations in one city, 1936

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jaarverslag Prorail 2012
  2. ^ Facts & Figures on www.nsstations.nl
  3. ^ "ProRail" (pdf). Network Statement 2012. ProRail. p. 165. Retrieved 29 November 2011. 
  4. ^ Number of passengers a day on the busiest Dutch railway stations (in Dutch)
  5. ^ (in Dutch) Over NS Stations, NS Stations. Retrieved 5 January 2015.

External links[edit]