New wheelchair-accessible stations, news about NS Travel Assistance, or handy new functionalities in the NS App: sometimes we have some news we'd like to share with you. This page presents all of the important news specifically for travellers with a disability.
Autumn measures at NS: what changes for you?
1 September 2021
From 6 September to 11 December, NS will deploy 'gel trains' on a number of routes. Leaves on the track in combination with moisture can make the tracks slippery. This means our drivers have to accelerate more slowly and brake more cautiously, which can cause delays. From 6 September, our gel trains will be running to reduce the risk of slippery tracks. They deposit a special gel that makes the tracks a little rougher. This enables our drivers to work more efficiently and avoid delays.
These gel trains are SGM or DDZ (double-decker) trains. This means you may see trains other than the ones you are used to during this period. This applies to the following routes:
- Baarn - Utrecht
- Breukelen - Utrecht - Rhenen
- Apeldoorn - Deventer - Enschede
Plan your trip
Up to 72 hours before your departure, you can check the Travel Planner to find out which type of train will be used. We advise you to always check the Travel Planner before departure. If you are unable to travel unassisted due to the use of gel trains, you can request our NS Travel Assistance service for your journey, free of charge. This enables you to receive assistance when boarding and disembarking. NS Travel Assistance can be requested at 169 stations in the Netherlands.
The Memory Compartment
3 June 2021
Specially for residents with dementia in nursing homes, NS has developed the Hoofdreiscoupé, or Memory Compartment. As travellers look out of the compartment window, the landscape glides by as if the train is actually travelling over the tracks. The Memory Compartment offers people with dementia a momentary distraction and the opportunity to recall positive memories.
Interested in reading the whole story? Click on the link to go to the news item.
Accessibility at NS in doof.nl
2 April 2021
Joost Nagtzaam, NS Accessibility Project Manager, in an interview with Doof.nl
'We also want to remove as many barriers as possible for passengers with hearing impairments'.
Interested in reading the whole story? Click on the link to go to the interview.
Results of customer survey announced
26 March 2021
NS is working hard to ensure that everyone can experience an accessible train journey. NS also wants to improve services and information for people with a hearing impairment. At the end of 2020, NS commissioned MarketRespons to conduct a survey among people with a hearing impairment, to find out how they experienced their contact with NS Customer Service*. Naturally, NS also wanted to know how they could improve this contact for people with hearing disabilities. NS is pleased to report that more than 250 people participated in the survey.
*NS Customer Service means the department that handles questions, suggestions and complaints via Twitter, Chat, Facebook or by phone.
A large proportion of survey participants were satisfied with the options that are already available for getting in touch with NS Customer Service. The survey also revealed a number of desired improvements. Participants indicated that their disabilities were not always taken into account and that customer consultants often spoke too quickly or not clearly enough. Contact via Twitter or Chat worked well, for many participants, but this was not always the case for older people. Hearing impaired respondents indicated that the option of a (tele)interpreter would have been helpful in some cases. In general, the more complicated the question or problem, the more important it is that the form of contact matches the wishes of a client with a hearing impairment. Although it was not included in this survey, announcements at stations and in trains were often mentioned as being difficult or impossible to understand. It may help to know that NS is already addressing this issue, with the first results being expected this year.
What will NS do with the results?
NS has established a working group that includes the various interest groups representing people with a hearing impairment. This group will work to ensure that all customer service employees are given clear instructions on how to assist customers with a hearing impairment and will include matters such as reducing background noise and speaking slowly and clearly.
In addition, the working group is also investigating the possibilities of using other contact options which will better meet the needs of customers with a hearing impairment who are unable to manage with the 'standard' options.
Expansion of tactile floor plans
3 December 2020
Good news for blind or visually impaired travellers: starting today, Thursday 3 December, tactile floor plans will be available at the following stations:
- Amsterdam Centraal
- Amsterdam Bijlmer Arena
- Amsterdam Sloterdijk
- Arnhem Centraal
- Den Bosch
- Den Haag Centraal
- Rotterdam Centraal
- Utrecht Centraal
25 extra Travel Assistance stations!
18 November 2020
Starting on 13 December, we will be significantly increasing the number of stations at which you can make use of NS Travel Assistance.
We will be adding 25 stations this year. The following overview lists the stations.
|Bovenkarspel Flora||Purmerend Overwhere|
|Helmond Brouwhuis||Vlissingen Souburg|
|Nieuw Vennep||Zaandam Kogerveld|
|Oss West||Zoetermeer Oost|