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Crowded trains

Thanks to economic growth and decreasing unemployment, more people are taking the train. On the busiest routes, the number of passengers is rising by approximately 5% per year. Due to the number of passengers trains are very busy, especially during morning and evening rush hours.


Engineering work

Due to engineering work on the railways, trains are sometimes unable to run with enough carriages, for example because less or shorter platforms are available. This means that trains may be shorter than usual, even when the routes are not directly affected by engineering work

What measures is NS taking?

NS is investing 2.5 billion in new trains to carry the growing numbers of passengers, and is taking various measure to limit overcrowding as much as possible:

  • Since December 2016, we have been deploying 58 urgently ordered Sprinters on the railways. The last 8 will start running in September 2017.
  • Starting in 2018, 118 more new Sprinters will be deployed.
  • Starting in December 2017, a train will run between Amsterdam, Utrecht and Eindhoven every ten minutes. This will increase the capacity on that route by 15%.
  • In 62 of our Sprinters, we have converted part of the 1st class area into 2nd class, which has created an additional 1,000 2nd class seats.
  • This autumn we will be testing whether larger discounts will help to thin out the crowds during rush hours. Due to the large numbers of passengers during the busiest part of the morning between 07.30 en 08.30, trains are very busy. In September, October and November 2017, we are starting this trial, and passengers with an Altijd Voordeel season ticket will be able to travel with a 40% discount during the less busy parts of the rush hours. More information about the trial.
  • NS employees travel during off-peak hours whenever possible.
  • We also provide passengers with targeted information regarding expected overcrowding on specific routes and any alternatives.
  • Collecting points during off-peak hours with MyOV on all routes around Utrecht.
  • You can report overcrowding on trains yourself using the Reisplanner Xtra app.

What can you do to enjoy a less busy journey?

  • Passengers 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 Reisplanner Xtra travel planning 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 travel planning 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.