Maastricht Station is a historical building dating back to 1913 and is immediately recognisable to travellers and completely unique. In order to preserve the historic building, which was designed by George van Heukelom, some historical elements have been restored.
Officially opened after restoration
After more than two years of renovation work, Maastricht Station has been restored to its former glory. The station is lighter and more spacious, and its facilities are now in keeping with current times. Old elements of the heritage building have also been brought back. The station was fully commissioned in 1916, but due to the first World War, it was never officially opened. This time, therefore, the station was comprehensively and officially opened with a ceremony on Wednesday 3 November.
The restoration was prompted by the memorandum ‘Over het Spoor’ ('Over the railroad') which lists the goals for developing Maastricht Station into an international hub, tackling the barrier effect created by the railroad zone, and developing a second front facade on the east side. The memorandum is the result of a collaborative investigation involving NS, ProRail, Maastricht Bereikbaar, the Province, Projectbureau A2 Maastricht and the municipality of Maastricht.
The railroad sector is convinced of the value of its historic stations as cultural-historical heritage. Their preservation enhances travellers' experience and helps to keep stations and station locations recognisable.
The station's hidden treasures
Now that the station has been restored to its former glory, several of its old treasures have become visible to travellers again. These were often hidden behind covering walls or wallpaper, or even removed from the station, but they have now all been found again. Below are a few examples of the treasures now visible once again at Maastricht Station.
Stained glass and old visitation hall
NS has restored the station building, creating more options for the use of the various spaces. For example, the old 'visitation hall' was used for many years as NS staff quarters, but it has now been restored to its former glory and is once again a public space. In addition, unique stained glass windows can be seen at the station.
Hidden mural visible once more
A hidden mural, which Maastricht artist Harry Schoonbrood created in 1962 after being commissioned by porcelain factory 'Mosa' and the 'Kristalunie', is visible once again. The work of art, which originally adorned the former station restaurant, had literally vanished behind the wallpaper and a covering wall. The station restaurant was converted into an AH to go, and after some time it was no longer clear whether the painting was still there at all, and what sort of condition it was in. The restoration of the station provided an opportunity to find out.
Old floor and wall tiles
In recent years, the authentic Mosa floor and wall tiles at various places in the station have become damaged. During the restoration, the green wall tiles visible at various places in the station hall and corridor were copied, and the wall can now be seen in its entirety again. The floor tiles in some places have also been replaced with new replicas, so that the floor is once again in good condition.
Old station clocks
The station features several old station clocks. For example, there is a clock in the AH to go that was previously not visible to travellers at all. The removal of partition walls and rearrangement of the store during the restoration have now made this clock prominent once more. The clock has also been repaired and now works again. Similarly, the clock in the station hall has been cleaned and fitted with the latest modern technology.
Fountain in natural stone
There was formerly a natural stone fountain in the station hall. This fountain was removed at some point and ended up in private ownership. It has now been found and restored to the station hall, where it is in working condition once again. Travellers will soon be able to fill their water bottles from it.
The facade with its proud lions
Over the years, the facade of the building had become completely blackened. The statues of the lions above the entrance to the station were also black and no longer clearly visible. A specialised company cleaned the facade, making it possible once more to see the difference between the various types of natural stone, and making the lions clearly visible again. Station manager Ger Pagters tells the story.
Bicycle storage and redesigning of Stationsstraat
The area around the station in Maastricht is constantly changing. On 1 January 2018, the underground bicycle storage facility was opened, after which Stationstraat was redesigned. Wider pavements now provide space for sidewalk cafés, and a bus platform has been added to make the bus station less confusing and more user-friendly, while creating a more spacious public square.
International bus station
Since 2016, the Kiss+Ride parking drive on the Meerssenerweg, on the east side of the station, has been used as a bus stop for international buses operated by Flix-, IC and KLM bussen. This space offered little room for buses and insufficient facilities for travellers, so the decision was taken to build a new bus station at another location on the Meerssenerweg. The bus station on the Meerssenerweg has therefore been moved a bit to the north, towards the former ProRail ranging yard. The new bus station opened in January 2020.
Transfer developments at Maastricht Station
ProRail is responsible for transfers at stations, including the station hall, lifts, stairways, platforms, traveller information, passageways and waiting facilities. ProRail is closely involved in NS' plans regarding the transfer functions. The current passageway is dated and anything but attractive. In coordination with the Stad en Spoor partners, a capacity study has been conducted, and the results of the study will provide input for the further efforts in the 'Stad en Spoor approach'.