Nederlandse Spoorwegen is a Dutch company, the principal passenger railway operator in the Netherlands. Founded in 1938, NS provides rail services on the Dutch main rail network (Dutch: hoofdrailnet). The Dutch rail network is the busiest in the European Union, and third busiest in the world after Switzerland and Japan.
NS serves 1.1 million travellers with its 4800 scheduled domestic trains per day.
NS has Sprinter trains for short distances and Intercity trains for longer distances within the Netherlands, as well as international trains and trains that run on the High Speed Line.
The Sprinter is intended for short distances and stops at all stations along the route. Travellers spend an average of 15 minutes aboard a Sprinter. It is a true commuter train, which can accelerate quickly, offers a clear view along the length of the train (social safety), and has many wide, clearly recognisable doors to facilitate easy entrance and exit. The spacious galleries offer more space for people to stand during peak hours. The Sprinters are recognisable by their blue-and-white paint scheme.
The Intercity is intended for medium- and long-distance train journeys, and only stops at large or medium-sized stations. They are comfortable trains with facilities geared towards a longer travel time. All Intercity trains are equipped with silence compartments. In the modernised double-deckers, the upper floors are ideal for reading or working, with many rows of seats. This is where the silence compartments are located. The lower floors are better suited to conversations, with more seats facing one another and 'lounge' seats. The Intercity can be recognised by its blue-and-yellow paint scheme.
All NS trains operating within the Netherlands offer the following standard services:
- 1st and 2nd class compartments, recognisable by the class signage on the exterior and interior of the train.
- Bicycle facilities in the gallery.
- Facilities for disabled passengers.
- Screens showing travel information and audio travel information (PA messages).
- WiFi in Intercitys (and all new NS Sprinters starting in 2017).
- Intercitys are equipped with toilets (increasingly wheelchair-accessible). The same applies to most Sprinters, and those Sprinters that are not yet equipped with toilets will have them installed in the near future.
- Many NS trains feature art work as well, as surveys have shown that our customers truly appreciate it, and NS has a long tradition of displaying art in its trains.
International trains and high-speed trains
Other NS trains (or train services in which NS is closely involved) include the IC direct, the Thalys, the ICE, the IC Brussel, and the IC Berlijn.
Most Popular train journeys with NS
The top 15 busiest train stations in the Netherlands by travelers (NS only) per working day in 2019:
|Station||Province||Daily Travelers 2019|
|Amsterdam Centraal||North Holland||199,500|
|Rotterdam Centraal||South Holland||101,700|
|Den Haag Centraal||South Holland||98,800|
|Schiphol Airport||North Holland||98,000|
|Leiden Centraal||South Holland||82,700|
|Amsterdam Zuid||North Holland||68,700|
|Eindhoven Centraal||North Brabant||68,200|
|Amsterdam Sloterdijk||North Holland||50,500|
|‘s Hertogenbosch||North Brabant||49,800|