More trains, fewer travellers: NS to introduce new timetables this Sunday

Heads up, guys! Starting on Sunday, most forms of public transport will be leaving at different times than what travellers might be used to — but this isn’t necessarily bad news. 🚅

Every year, the Dutch public transport system prepares for the biggest change of the year. This time around, these changes include a shift in train timetables for the winter and — get this — an increase in overall train departures. 🎉  

Randstad to see more frequent trains

A majority of these timetable changes, particularly for trains, take place in the Randstad as it’s the most densely populated area of the Netherlands. So if you’re a non-Randstader who is sick of hearing your friends talk about how great it is, perhaps it’s time to buy earplugs. 

And who are the lucky ducks that will enjoy some extra trains? Well, Intercity trains between Schiphol-Leiden-Rotterdam now run every 10 minutes instead of every 15, while other tracks like Leiden to Utrecht will now run every 15 minutes instead of every 30 minutes among many other changes. 

In the (train)works🛤

No new train tracks have been built for this increase in train departures so everything goes on the current tracks, creating a logistical puzzle for the NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen, Dutch Railways). 

READ MORE | The ultimate guide to taking a train in the Netherlands: from OV cards to saving money

That’s why these new timetables have been in the works for nearly three years, Jantina Woudstra tells the NOS. Railways across the Netherlands are already full so fitting more departures than usual takes a lot of effort and time to organise. 

Struggling public transport systems

Due to current coronavirus measures, public transport is running at only about 60% capacity over the last year and a half, so there is a question of whether the NS needs all these trains running. 

You may be wondering — why now? During a global pandemic. It’s simple, the NS expects a 10% to 30% increase in travellers by 2030 compared to the period before coronavirus and these timetable changes serve as preparation by the NS in the meantime! We love to hear it. 🔥  

What are your experiences with Dutch trains? Tell us in the comments!

Feature Image: nanka-photo/Depositphotos

Katrien Nivera 🇵🇭
Katrien Nivera 🇵🇭
Third culture kid Katrien is a Philippine native living in the Netherlands to finish her master's degree in political communication. You can usually find her trying to organize everything on Notion and the sticky notes app, otherwise, she’s nose-deep in a good book or obsessing over film soundtracks and video games.


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