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Crowded trains

NS predicts that passengers may be inconvenienced during 2017, especially during rush hour on specific routes.

Overcrowding during rush hour has always been an issue, but in 2016 this problem was exacerbated by an increase in passenger numbers, limited resources and engineering works on the railway tracks. During this period of time, NS has been committed to making the maximum effort to increase the number of seated and standing spaces on the trains and to prevent passengers from being inconvenienced.

The work being carried out around Utrecht will affect particularly large numbers of passengers this year. Due to engineering works, trains will not always be able to run with the required composition of carriages, for example, because less or shorter platforms are available. This may mean that trains will be shorter than required, even if the journey is not directly affected by the engineering works.

What measures is NS taking?

NS has implemented a variety of measures to limit crowding as much as possible, including:

  • We are working on extra material by refurbishing old double-deckers, and we structurally schedule a percentage of our reserve trains. We have also ordered 58 new Sprinters, which are expected to begin operation in 2017.
  • In 62 of our sprinters, we have converted part of the 1st class compartment to 2nd class, which has added an extra 1,000 2nd class seats.
  • NS office employees travel before or after the peak hours whenever possible.
  • We also inform travellers on specific busy routes of any expected overcrowding on the routes and possible alternatives.
  • Collecting points outside rush hour with MyOV on 7 routes to Utrecht.
  • Avoiding rush-hour with the train on the route Alkmaar - Amsterdam. 
  • In the Autumn of 2016, NS used NS-spitsbussen on several routes. This was done to provide an alternative to specific busy trains during morning and evening rush hours. As of 21 November, NS has stopped running these NS-spitsbussen. The buses were only used by a few passengers.
  • You can report overcrowding in trains yourself using the RP Xtra

What can you do to enjoy a less busy journey?

  • Travellers often board the train at the same entrance, depending on where the train stops at the platform. This can make it more crowded in certain sections in the train, but less crowded in other compartments. Boarding the train at these compartments results in a better distribution of passengers in the train.
  • Consult the Travel Planner Reisplanner Xtra app prior to departure for the current departure times and the crowd indicator for the train. This is indicated by 1, 2 or 3 figures.
  • You can also view the current train length in the Reisplanner Xtra app. If your train is shorter than normal due to a disruption, for example, then this will be displayed along with the other travel information. That way, you can plan for a more crowded train before you leave, and perhaps you can choose to take an earlier or later train that is less crowded.

Do you have any questions?

We are happy to offer you further assistance. You can contact NS Customer Service for more information. We are available to help you at any time.