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Safety on the train and at the station

As a traveler, you can contribute to the safety of everyone on the train or at the station. What can you do when confronted with aggression or vandalism?

Test with WhatsApp / text message alert

As of 1 July, travellers in the southeast of the Netherlands can participate in a test with WhatsApp / text message alerts. If they feel unsafe in the train or at the station, travellers can send a message via WhatsApp or text message to inform NS of the situation.

Starting from 1 July, you can send a WhatsApp alert on the following routes: 

  • Arnhem - Dordrecht 
  • Tilburg Universiteit – Weert

Starting from 16 July, you can also send WhatsApp alerts on the following routes:

  • Ede-Wageningen – Arnhem
  • ’s-Hertogenbosch – Deurne
  • Roosendaal – Dordrecht  

In the future, we will also expand the service with the option of sending reports via text message as well as WhatsApp, and include the following stations in the service: Eindhoven Centraal, Tilburg and Breda. 

What will the test entail? 

When you send a report, you will be in contact with the NS Security Helpdesk. They will then determine which actions to take depending on the situation, as each report involves its own individual needs. Sometimes it is enough that the traveller knows that someone is listening. In other cases, an NS Security Helpdesk assistant will call in help from our colleagues at Security & Service or the police, or contact the lead conductor, who can decide to speak to the troublemakers or ask the Security Helpdesk to call our Security & Service colleagues at the next station.

Important: if the situation requires emergency assistance, always call the 112 emergency number first.

Feeling safe on the train and at the station

We want you to be able to enjoy a safe journey. Our Safety & Service personnel monitor safety on the train and at the station and have been specially trained for this purpose. In addition, we take measures to improve social safety. To this end, there is camera surveillance at stations, many stations have been fitted with access gates to prevent free-riding and we carry out regular checks on trains and at our stations. We do this in collaboration with the police, the municipalities and other transport companies.

What can you do if you feel unsafe?

Get in contact with one of our personnel. Are you at a station where no NS personnel are available? Then you can contact our safety switchboard using the SOS button on the NS service column. This is intended for use in emergencies, such as accidents or unsafe situations.

Think about your own safety

The most important thing is that you remember to think about your own safety.  Report unsafe situations to one of our employees. The best way to help victims of aggression and violence is to call for help as quickly as possible.

  1. Notify NS personnel or ask for help from bystanders . If you notice that a situation is getting out of hand, you can intervene by informing the NS personnel as quickly as possible or by pressing the alarm button on the Service & Alarm pole that is present on most platforms. This will put you into contact with an NS employee who knows what to do in the situation. You can also  ask for help from bystanders. Look around to see if there are other people nearby, and call on them to help. Together you can do more to stop the perpetrator by approaching him as a group.
  2. Call emergency number 112. If no NS personnel are nearby, you can always call the emergency number 112 - even when you are not in the mobile reception area for your own provider  or if your prepaid account is empty. As soon as you get an emergency operator on the line, the first thing you should do is tell them where you are and from whom you  need help. If you are calling 112 from a mobile telephone number in the train, the first thing you should do is tell the operator your train wagon number or the next station you are approaching. The operator can have the emergency services standing by when you arrive at a station along the route.
  3. Remain with the victim. You can help the victim by staying with them and trying to reassure them. If you are trained to provide first aid, then please feel free to do so. The more you can do for the victim right away, the better.
  4. Report what you saw. Make sure that you are a good witness. If possible, take pictures of the perpetrator and report the incident to the police, so that you can tell them what you saw.
  5. Characteristics of the perpetrator. Try to remember as many of the characteristics of the perpetrator as possible. This is extremely valuable information for the police.
  6. Apprehend the suspect. You may also apprehend the suspect. Every citizen has the right to apprehend suspects of a crime. However, you may not use more force than necessary to prevent him or her from leaving the scene of the crime. For example, you may hold the suspect to the ground until the police arrive. Evaluate the situation and decide what the proper course of action is. Naturally, your own safety should come first.

Safety on the train

Leave the train in the event of an emergency. You may only pull the emergency brake handle if you are in immediate danger, but never do so in a tunnel! In the event of a serious emergency, it is dangerous if the train is stranded in a tunnel, as it makes it more difficult for the emergency services to reach the train. This is not the case if the train is still at the station. In the near future, most trains will be equipped with a sticker near the emergency brake. Never leave the train without the permission of an NS employee. This can be extremely dangerous.

Rules for emergencies

  • Follow the instructions given by the personnel
  • Prepare to evacuate the train
  • Move through the train to the reach the exit
  • You must leave the train through a single door indicated by the personnel
  • In the event of an emergency in a tunnel, walk  as quickly as possible to the emergency exit in the tunnel. In the event of a fire in a tunnel, the train is the safest place to be for the first 15 minutes.