The Dutch rail company NS is considering building hundreds of houses above the railway lines in Utrecht, Amsterdam Sloterdijk, and The Hague Central Stations.
It’s perhaps not as novel an idea as it seems, given many cities erect buildings above their train tracks such as in New York, Paris and Liverpool.
NS spokesperson Erik Kroez said there are “Football fields of land” around these Dutch stations.
Can NS do this?
In 1995 NS was granted the exclusive right to build over railways. Before now, they have not utilised the right because building above train tracks is very costly. However given the rising house prices in the Netherlands, this move is now worth it.
The space above rail tracks present significant opportunities to be creative with existing space and unlock different styles of homes that can be built.
However, the homes will need to be resistant against vibrations and block out noise pollution caused by passing trains.
NS plan to use the profits to modernize the train stations and if the venture is successful, it will mean they are no longer wholly reliant on the government for financing.
This is not the only change that is coming NS are organising. Plans are also in the works to phase out the OV chip card.