Netherlands - Lines with Obscure or Sparse passenger services

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This list is based on the timetable timetable valid from 13 December 2020, unless otherwise shown. Standard abbreviations are explained in General Information.

Obscure services

Diemen Zuid (Venserpolder aansluiting) — Halte ArenA — Bijlmer (Duivendrecht aansluiting)

(ERA 34A3) NL20/1

There are separate east-to-south and south-to-east curves — both reversibly signalled. The more westerly of the two has a halt to serve the nearby ArenA stadium, which is used by football specials, in season, for supporters of the visiting team, as advertised locally. Dates for Ajax games at AreanA can be found at the Ajax website (home games show Ajax first).

This curve may also be used if there is engineering work on the Schiphol - Amsterdam Zuid - Duivendrecht line. Replacement trains may run between Amsterdam Bijlmer and Almere and/or Hilversum. See the Reisinformatie, Geplande werkzaamheden page for NS engineering work for approximately the next 3 months.

Utrecht Overvecht — Bilthoven (Blauwkapel Oost aansluiting)

[16] (ERA 34C1) NL20/2

This section is quadruple track with two raised tracks and two tracks at ground level. The ground level tracks (the original alignment) cross the Lunetten - Hilversum line by means of a flat crossing (Blauwkapel Kruispunt). This crossing is used by eastbound stopping trains from Utrecht CS (Centraal) to Amersfoort and Baarn, and also the trains in NL20/3.

Click on the thumbnail for a full size map.

Utrecht Overvecht.jpg

Utrecht Nederlands Spoorwegmuseum — Bilthoven (Blauwkapel Oost aansluiting)

(ERA 34C1) NL20/3

This is the northern stub of a freight line which used to avoid Utrecht on the east side. A shuttle service operates between Utrecht Centraal station and the Nederlands Spoorwegmuseum (Netherlands Railway Museum), located at the former Maliebaan station. Trains run hourly (reversing at Blauwkapel Oost aansluiting) on Tuesdays to Sundays, and also Mondays during school holidays. Information can be found in the NS journey planner by searching for trains to or from Utrecht Maliebaan.

Gouda — Waddinxveen

[17] (ERA 34C1) NL20/4

The single track Alphen aan den Rijn branch takes a separate alignment (about 200 m away) from the main line west of Gouda for a distance of about 1 km. The lines then come together, with a connecting crossover (251 points), before the branch diverges northwards. Since 4 September 2017, the increased service of 4 trains per hour requires trains to cross on this section. As a result only trains from Alphen aan den Rijn to Gouda use the separate single track section.

Dordrecht: Stadspolder — Baanhoekweg

(ERA 36C5) NL20/5

On the Saturday and Sunday of Dordt in Stoom, which functions in May/June every even numbered year 21-22 May 2022), a shuttle service usually operates from Dordrecht Centraal over this short portion of the De Staart branch, to reach a model railway exhibition. Click on "Plattegrond" for a map showing the route.

Schiedam Centrum (Dhsa (DelfsHaven Schiebrug aansluiting) 171 points) — Rotterdam Noord (Dhsa 409 points)

(ERA 36B5) NL20/6

The line - to the west of and avoiding Rotterdam Centraal - has no regular public passenger trains but may be used by diverted IC trains between Den Haag and Utrecht when the direct line between Den Haag and Gouda is blocked for engineering work. See the Reisinformatie, Geplande werkzaamheden page for NS engineering work approximately 3 months in advance.

It is known locally as the 'Bokito' Curve, named after a gorilla which escaped from the nearby zoo!

It was used approximately twice a week by the Amsterdam Dinner Train before the operator went bankrupt in July 2019. Since the operation resumed in October 2019, it now starts from a number of different cities - see Dinner Train. The compilers would appreciate receiving any reports of whether the Dinner Train still uses this curve when starting from Amsterdam or indeed any other starting point.

Den Haag HS (Binckhorst aansluiting) — Voorburg

[1] (ERA 34B1) NL20/7

This is the "Binckhorstboog" (servicing yard curve) meant for ecs workings. The curve may also be used by diverted IC trains between Rotterdam and Utrecht when the direct line between Rotterdam and Gouda is blocked for engineering work but recently buses have been provided rather than trains diverted. See the Reisinformatie, Geplande werkzaamheden page for NS engineering work for approximately the next 3 months.

Betuweroute: Geldermalsen — Meteren aansluiting — Valburg Oost aansluiting — Elst

[14] (ERA 37A5) NL20/8

Much of the Betuweroute freight line is barred to passenger traffic owing to the presence of tunnels which were built without provision for the evacuation of passengers if required. However, this middle section of the line has no tunnels and can therefore be used by passenger trains. Note the junction at the Geldermalsen end is substantially grade separated. From Monday 24 February 2020 to Sunday 1 March 2020, ICEs between Amsterdam/Utrecht and Germany have been diverted via the Betuweroute owing to engineering work between Utrecht and Arnhem. This route has an increased journeytime of 30 minutes.

HSL Zuid: Barendrecht (Kijfhoek Noord aansluiting) — Lage Zwaluwe (Zevenbergschen Hoek aansluiting)

[103, 120] (ERA 36B5-C5) NL20/9

This section of the HSL Zuid avoiding Dordrecht is used by all high speed international trains to/from Belgium, which continue further south on the HSL, and also by domestic IC services non-stop between Rotterdam and Breda, which use the classic line south of Zevenbergschen Hoek aansl. Note that there is a lengthy flyover on the northbound connection as the HSL has left hand running whereas the classic line has right hand running.


See Netherlands - Tram services over obscure routes

Other sparse services

43: Groningen - Roodeschool - Eemshaven: all journeys to Eemshaven terminate at present at Roodeschool, as the ferries between Eemshavenand Borkum (D) have been cancelled due to COVID-19. Special excursions organised by the Dutch Railway Enthausiasts NGO 'NVBS' are published here:

Deletions since previous edition

NL18/8 Kijfhoek — Botlek — Maasvlakte Special trains no longer run

See also