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Holland and Railroads
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General information on Netherlands
The small and flat country of Holland has an extensive train network of 2800 km. Train connections are frequent and also frequently used by the local population - thanks to for instance the often massive traffic jams on major car routes. Train tracks and the network are maintained by a national maintainer called ProRail.
All train traffic was handled by the state train monopoly NS, Nederlandse Spoorveien, until 1992 when the European Union's open track policies started to open the Dutch rail operations for free competition. Even today the NS is the major player and it's still running practically all of the long distance routes as well as the commuter routes around the biggest cities. But also many smaller private companies offer now services especially in the more rural parts of the country. Among these private players companies such as Arriva, Syntus and Veolia are to be mentioned, but their role is mainly restricted to local commuter traffic far away from the capital Den Haag and the largest city Amsterdam. Originally these new operators started by buying or leasing used NS trains, but today more and more completely new private sector owned trains have started to emerge and thus the trains are getting more and more colourful.
Also the profitable cargo train sector has been opened for competition. NS' cargo operations sector NS Cargo became Railion Nederland, a part of the German national operator DB, Deutsche Bahn AG. (DB's subsidiary Railion is now known by its new name DB Schenker.) But in addition to this major player also many other cargo train companies now operate on the Dutch tracks, for example Veolia, HGK (Hafen und Güterverkehr Köln), ERS, Rail4Chem and so on. Major freight routes run from west to east and southeast, bringing goods from the Dutch harbours to mainland Europe. This results in heavy cargo traffic loads on some railway lines. To stay up to date the Dutch have started to build new technology based faster train lines such as the HSL Zuid (high speed line south) and the Betuweroute, but using these to their full extent needs specially equipped locomotives as the train safety control systems as well as the electricity systems differ from the rest of the country. Therefore big diesel engines as well as multiple electrical system capable modern electric locomotives such as the Traxx family of the company Bombardier are setting the scene today.
Most of the Dutch railroads are electrified using 1,5 kV DC, which means that trains designed for that energy source have no way of crossing the Dutch borders. However, German, French and Belgian locomotives which can run under multiple electric systems can operate outside the country. The new lines such as the Betuweroute are using 25 kV AC 50Hz, which is the more modern and widely preferred solution. But this means that through-running trains must often be capable of handling three different kinds of electricity: the Dutch DC 1,5 kV DC, the modern AC 25 kV 50Hz and the German AC 16 kV 16,7Hz. The same goes with train control systems. Locomotive leasing companies which can offer modern multiple system engines have a lucrative market here.
| High Speed Trains and
Networks of Netherlands
To be added later.
| Rolling Stock of Netherlands
To be added later.
Class 66 Page
| Gallery for
Why not see some of the pictures from Holland found on the 4rail.net and pick the ones you are most interested in?
Dutch Gallery Main Page
| Netherlands Vintage Rolling
Vintage Rolling Stock on Gallery Page
| Netherland Maintenance of the Way Rolling Stock
MOW Equipment on Gallery Page