Travelling with functional disabilities
- Preparing for your journey Obtain information beforehand.
- Facilities at stations Accessible stations
- Facilities on the train Getting on and off the train
- Help or assistance en route
- The OV-Begeleiderskaart Travelling with a Companion
- Getting to the station Shared taxi, special transportation and Valys
- Useful telephone numbers and addresses
Preparing for your journey
Your travel plans
Plan your journey using the NS Journey Planner.
Travellers with Visual Impairments
- The Dedicon organisation offers spoken NS folders (Dutch only; Tel. +31 (0)486-486486).
- NS folders are available via www.anderslezen.nl (Dutch only)
- If you have an adapted PC (font size adjustment, speech synthesis or a Braille reading line), you can find about NS rail travel and our services at our website.
Tips for your train journey:
- Obtain journey information before arriving at the station.
- Allow plenty of time for transfers.
- SMS -NS keeps you informed of any irregularities on your route.
- If possible, travel outside peak hours which are usually the busiest hours on the trains. Peak hours are Monday through Friday from 07.00 to 09.00 and 16.00 to 18.00.
- Purchasing undated train tickets in advance can save you time at the station. Just date your ticket using the ticket stamping machine at the station on the day of departure and you are on your way.
Facilities at stations
The following facilities are available at many NS stations:
- Tactile guidance lines assist visually impaired travellers in making their way around the stations and platforms.
- Mobile ramps make it easier for wheelchair users to get on and off the train. Only trained staff are authorised to operate these ramps which are available at over 100 stations.
- NS Service Desks are equipped to allow travellers to plug in the audio input of their hearing aids. Cords are not provided so passengers who wish to make use of this service will need to bring their own. (For example, the Philips AD 949/03 cord is compatible with our system).
Where do you purchase your train ticket?
- From the self-service ticket machine, 24 hours a day, for all domestic journeys.
- From the NS ServiceDesk and from NS sales outlets.
- If you have a functional disability but do not have an OV-Begeleiderskaart (Public Transport Companion Pass], you can apply for an exemption pass.
- At the major stations, service representatives will be happy to help you purchase a ticket.
Facilities on the train
On most trains
- There is a wheelchair accessible entrance which can be identified by the international accessibility symbol (ITS).
On many Intercity trains
- There are special slots for wheelchair users that are easily accessible through an extra-wide, automatic sliding door.
- Have wheelchair accessible toilets, marked by the international accessibility symbol (ITS).
Travelling by train in a wheelchair, mobility scooter/powered chair, with a modified bicycle or a guide dog?
Help or assistance en route
NS Journey Assistants
- Journey Assistants are present at over 100 stations in The Netherlands. A Journey Assistant is either an NS employee or a taxi driver.
- They help wheelchair users, the visually impaired and persons with disabilities (temporary or permanent disabilities).
- You are responsible for your own (heavy) luggage.
- Click here to apply for assistance.
Your train journey
- Please report to the agreed meeting point at least fifteen minutes prior to departure. The meeting point will usually be the NS Service Desk.
- Duivendrecht, Maastricht, Middelburg, Schiphol and Utrecht Centraal have different meeting points so make sure you know exactly where to meet your Journey Assistant.
- The Journey Assistant will take you to the appropriate platform and help you get on the train.
- When you reach your destination station, a Journey Assistant will help you get off the train and exit the station.
- If you have any questions, you can ask the Journey Assistant.
- If any problems occur during the journey, you may contact NS Bureau Assistentieverlening Gehandicapten [NS Disabled Assistance Office], open daily from 5.00-2.00, at +31 (0)30-2357823
Assistance at Schiphol
- IHD (International Help to the Disabled) provides services free of charge. For more information on which services are available, contact +31 (0)20-3161417.
- An OV-Begeleiderskaart (Public Transport Companion Pass] allows a companion to travel with you free of charge.
- The OV-Begeleiderskaart is in your name which means that you are not required to be accompanied by the same companion on every journey.
- The OV-Begeleiderskaart is valid for at least one year.
- You can use the OV-Begeleiderskaart for the train, metro, tram, bus and Regiotaxi (regional taxi).
- With your OV-Begeleiderskaart you are exempted from the euro 0.50 surcharge normally imposed on single or return tickets purchased from NS Service Desks, Wizzl convenience stores or Kiosk shops.
- Both you and your companion must be at least 12 years of age.
- You and your companion must complete the entire journey together.
- The OV-Begeleiderskaart allows your companion to travel with you free of charge, but you are still required to purchase a standard ticket.
- Only an authorised Journey Assistant is allowed to operate the bridge plate. Your companion is not allowed to do this.
Getting to the station
Shared taxi (Deeltaxi)
- Safe, comfortable and convenient transport to the station.
- Available at many stations nationwide.
- Providers are independently owned and operate regionally. Thus, conditions and prices may vary from one company to another.
- Shared taxis can be requested by dialling 0900-8734682 (euro 0.35 per minute; within the Netherlands only).
Valys: Cross-regional transport system for people with reduced mobility.
- Intended for destinations located more than five public transport zones from your home.
- Use of services requires a Valys Pass.
- You may apply for a Valys pass if you are entitled to transport under the WVG (Disablement Provisions Act, a wheelchair under the WVG, a mobility scooter/powered wheelchair or a disabled parking permit from the municipality.
- For more information: call 0900-9630, open daily from 06.00 to 01.00 (euro 0.05 per minute; within the Netherlands only).
- In many cities, you can use Collectief Vraagafhankelijk Vervoer (Collective Transport on Demand] to get to and from the station. To find out which cities offer this type of transport and for specific terms and conditions, please call 0900-9292 (euro 0.70 per minute; within the Netherlands only).
Useful telephone numbers and addresses
NS Bureau Assistentieverlening Gehandicapten [NS Disabled Assistance Office]
To request assistance during the train journey by phone.
Open daily from 07.00 to 23.00 (on public holidays from 08.00)
Telephone +31 (0)30-2357822
Fax +31 (0)30-2353935 (For the deaf or hearing impaired.)
In the event of problems en route or to cancel your journey: +31 (0)30-2357823 (from 05.00 to 02.00).
Postal address: PO Box 2372, 3500 GH Utrecht, The Netherlands
NS Bureau OV-Begeleiderskaarten [NS Public Transport Companion Pass office]
For information about the OV-Begeleiderskaart (Public Transport Companion Pass).
Postal address: PO Box 2372, 3500 GJ Utrecht, The Netherlands
Open weekdays from 09.00 to 12.00.
NS Text Telephone
Journey information for the hearing impaired.
Text telephone: 0900-5559292 (euro 0.70 per minute; from within the Netherlands only).
For information: telephone: +31 (0)486-486486.
www.anderslezen.nl (Dutch only)
NS Customer Service
For comments, suggestions and complaints: 0900-2021163 (euro 0.10 per minute; within the Netherlands only).
NS Folderlijn [NS Folder Line]
To request folders and forms: 0900-1462 (euro 0.10 per minute) (only from inside the Netherlands).
Services for passengers with disabilities
- We would be happy to assist you with your journey. We will be better able to help you if you contact us well in advance of your trip.
- We recommend letting us know at least 24 hours prior to travel if you have specific requests or requirements.
- Many stations are equipped with lifts, ramps and escalators.
- Guidance lines have been installed at many stations.