Vlissingen railway station
|Connections||⛴ Westerschelde Ferry Vlissingen-Breskens
Connexxion: 56, 57, 58, 864
|Opened||1 September 1873|
Vlissingen (English name: Flushing) is a terminus railway station in Vlissingen, Netherlands. The station opened on 1 September 1873. The station is at the western end of the Roosendaal–Vlissingen railway and has 3 platforms. This station is less than 100 metres (330 ft) short of being the westernmost station in the Netherlands: that is Vlissingen Souburg, the second station in Vlissingen. The station Vlissingen was formerly called Station Vlissingen-Haven.
First station (1872-1892)
On 1 September 1973 Vlissingen Port was opened on the site of the current station. It was a simple station, mainly consisting of some platforms, and intended mainly for connection to the ferry. At that time the second station of Vlissingen was Vlissingen Town, regarded as the main station. This station was opened a year earlier, on 1 November 1, 1872, and was closer to the centre of town, at the Keersluisbrug along the Canal through Walcheren. The operation of two nearby stations in the port of Vlissingen was too expensive in relation to the limited use, and Vlissingen Town station was closed on 18 July 1894.
Second station (1892-1944)
In 1892 a much larger building was constructed in the style of the Renaissance, whose entrance was located diagonally on the south-west corner. The building included a special waiting room for royalty. The station had three platforms provided with a canopy, of which the pillars and a portion of the canopy remain. The building was inaugurated on 15 September 1894. Five years later, in 1899, however, there was a major incident when a steam locomotive from Amsterdam with faulty brakes broke through the platform and into the station buffet. This accident two conductors' lives.
In 1944 Vlissingen Port was irreparably damaged during a bombing raid.
Third station (1950-present)
Reconstruction took place between October 1949 and September 1950 to a design by architect Sybold van Ravesteyn (1889-1983), whose neo-baroque style is clearly recognisable in the building. The official opening took place on 18 December 1950. Parts of platforms, platform canopy and wall work were retained from the pre-war station. After the war, they also removed the additive 'port' of the name and the station was simply called Vlissingen.
In the eastern part of the main building is a station buffet, with a small raised terrace in front with low stone balustrade. On the west side there is a separate wing with a bicycle facility, behind a free-standing office building. All these parts are attached to the booking hall via the adjacent part of the platforms with each other. The building includes Ravesteyn's characteristic details, like round tilted windows, decorations on the cornices and statues on the facade.
On the outer walls of the station are four ceramic images by Jo Uiterwaal (1897-1972) with representations that refer to the railway and the province of Zeeland. At the entrance of the bicycle facility is the municipality of Vlissingen stone planter with sculpted NS logo and inscription 'Vlissingen 1950'. There is a statue commemorating the electrification of the Zeeland line, manufactured by Philip ten Klooster and unveiled on 17 April 1957.
On the east side of the booking hall were originally ticket offices. In June 2004, these closed, and in late 2010 were replaced by a kiosk. For a long time on the west side of the booking hall there was a bureau de change; after the closure of this at the end of 2001 this part of the station was brought back to its original state.
On 18 March 2010 the station building was designated a national monument and is one of the few designed by Van Ravesteyn station buildings that were not demolished.
The station in Vlissingen played an important role in the first half of the twentieth century in the connection with England because of the connection with the ferry from the Zeeland Steamship Company. From 1881 until the First World War D-trains (international express trains) travelled over the Zeeland line, where one could travel from London via Vlissingen to Berlin.
As the location near the harbour means there is have a greater distance to the city centre, there have been suggestions to move the station to the north. The station would then be near to the HZ University of Applied Sciences, in the vicinity which the municipality of Vlissingen wants to develop as a centre of knowledge and innovation. This is approximately the same location as where the former station Vlissingen Town was. The plans to move the station met with great resistance in Zeelandic Flanders, because the immediate transition between ferry and train would be lost.
Since the 2013 revision of the railway timetable there are a few direct trains to Leeuwarden and Groningen in the evenings and on Sunday morning. Vlissingen station is directly connected to eight provincial capitals, namely Middelburg, The Hague and Lelystad, and several times a day also Assen, Zwolle, Leeuwarden and Groningen. On Wednesday runs a train to Haarlem.
The station is served by the following service(s):
- 2x per hour intercity service Amsterdam - Haarlem - Leiden - The Hague - Rotterdam - Dordrecht - Roosendaal - Vlissingen
The following bus lines stop at the station:
- 56 Vlissingen Fast Ferrys/Station - Oost-Souburg Station - Middelburg Station