New wheelchair-accessible stations, news about NS Travel Assistance, or handy new features 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.
Replacing elevators at Amsterdam RAI and Heemstede-Aerdenhout station
15 February 2023
Stations should be accessible to all, which is why ProRail always makes sure to replace elevators that are nearing the end of their service life.
We will soon be replacing the elevators at the following stations:
Amsterdam RAI: from 27 February to late May 2023
Heemstede-Aerdenhout: from 27 March to mid-June 2023
Visit this page for more information.
Rail replacement services
Need an elevator to travel? Call NS Travel Assistance to discuss your options. You can reach NS Travel Assistance by calling 030 235 7822. Plan your journey using the NS Travel Planner.
Easy train travel tutorial
31 January 2023
NS and Steffie from steffie.nl have created a tutorial and series of exercises about travelling by train.
Perhaps it's been a very long time since you last took the train, or maybe you're just afraid you'll struggle to remember everything. We hope this tutorial helps.
NS hands out TreinTrainPakket
31 January 2023
Travelling by train can be nerve-wrecking for people with a mild intellectual disability, who often have questions like: Where can I buy a ticket, what platform should I be on, and where can I find help? Because NS wants everyone to feel welcome in its trains, it has launched its 'TreinTrainPakket'. This special kit was developed especially for people with a mild intellectual disability and was made with the people who will be using it most! A handful of tools and a little training can often help them travel by train virtually independently. The first five special needs schools will start using the kit from 31 January 2023.
- NS has teamed up with Steffie to create a tutorial and exercise module covering all the basics of travelling by train. Steffie even made a special brochure for NS with lots of pictures and little text.
- Vitasys has developed a VR game to practice travelling by public transport. As you level up, the game gets more challenging, so players can practice dealing with a delay or missing a train.
- Travellers can also fill in a support card developed by especially for vulnerable travellers who aren't as good with words by Stichting MEE. On the card, travellers can explain how NS employees or fellow travellers can best be of help if they can't quite put it into words themselves.
- Finally, an NS employee will take the participants on a tour of a nearby station and a short train trip, as well as doing a quick Q&A. We also asked people with a mild intellectual disability to provide feedback on the various parts of the kit to make sure it meets their needs.
If you work for an institution that works with people with mild intellectual disabilities or at a Special Education school and are interested in the kit, please contact us by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Results of the NS customer survey on accessibility
16 January 2023
Last summer, NS conducted a customer survey among customers with motor, visual and auditory impairments. to find out whether they are satisfied with the accessibility of NS's services and the facilities offered by NS, as well as to learn more about any remaining obstacles. 1395 customers responded to the survey, and while the main conclusion was that a lot has already been done, there is still room for improvement. The survey revealed that many customers are unaware of the services offered by NS, so we will all have to pay special attention to getting the word out about our accessibility measures, with NS leading the way.
On top of that, specific needs, wishes and areas for improvement were identified for different audiences:
- Customers with a motor impairment were satisfied with our friendly employees and the fact that all our Sprinter trains are now equipped with an automatic bridge plate. Their main concerns were linked to the availability of ProRail elevators and the reliability of NS Travel Assistance. On top of that, several respondents were unaware of the option of planning an accessible trip, while others were unfamiliar with the NS Service & Alarm kiosks.
- Generally speaking, visually impaired customers feel supported and heard by NS, but highlight that travel information is not always offered in an accessible manner, especially after disruptions. Finally, they also mentioned that the ticket machine could still be improved. Customers are very satisfied with the NS Perronwijzer app.
- Customers with an auditory impairment reported being satisfied with their travel options, while also indicating that they would prefer it if travel information and announcements were also displayed visually. In most cases, travel information can be accessed via multiple channels, but we will be working on ways to find a visual solution for all information and announcements in the coming years. Customers with an auditory impairment are very satisfied with the presence of Audio induction loops, and the ability to reach out to NS Customer Service via Teletolk, KPN's remote interpreter service.
NS will use the outcomes of its customer surveys to keep improving its services in the years to come. We will continue to work with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and advocacy groups to keep improving accessibility in non-standard situations, to make the service & alarm kiosks more accessible for customers with an auditory impairment, to roll out our ''een-stap-verder-service" to approx. five new stations and to improve awareness of accessible train travel.
Schiphol Airport Station: elevators to be replaced from 8 January 2023
9 December 2022
Starting from 8 January 2023, ProRail will be replacing the elevators at Schiphol Airport Station to ensure their continued reliability.
The new elevators will be operational from early April 2023. More information about the new elevators can be found here: Elevators and stairs at Schiphol Airport Station to be replaced | ProRail
Travelling to or from Schiphol Airport and need an elevator? Please do not hesitate to contact NS Customer Service. They'll help you find an appropriate solution.
More stations to get NS Travel Assistance from 11 December
9 December 2022
Starting from 11 December, more stations will be getting NS Travel Assistance.
The 27 new stations are: Abcoude, Almelo de Riet, Almere Poort, Apeldoorn Osseveld, Arnhem Velperpoort, Borne, Bovenkarspel Grootebroek*, Den Haag Moerwijk, Elst, Haren, Heemskerk, Hollandse Rading, Hoogkarspel*, Den Haag Mariahoeve, Leiden De Vink, Maarn, Maarssen, Nijmegen Goffert, Oisterwijk, Oosterbeek, Rotterdam Zuid, Santpoort Noord, Soest, Utrecht Leidsche Rijn, Utrecht Lunetten, Wierden, Zaltbommel.
* because of the limited space available on the platforms, we cannot offer ramp-based assistance at the stations. Unfortunately, wheelchair or mobility scooter users cannot board or get off the train at these stations.
For more information on what you can do to travel independently and/or with NS Travel Assistance, visit our page on how to get ready for travelling before you leave home.
Is the elevator working at my station?
25 July 2022
If you're dependent on an elevator, it's important to know whether the elevator at your station is working properly.
You can now find a list of elevators that are out of order for more than 1 week in the travel planner on ns.nl or in the NS app. This information is updated every week, so the list might not be perfectly up to date.
Here's how to find the info:
- Plan your journey using the Travel Planner
- Click on the station name
- Click on facilities/station information
- If the elevator is unavailable, you will see 'Elevator temporarily out of service' (see image).
What can you do if the elevator is out of service?
Then please call NS Customer Service. NS Customer Service will then work with you to find the best solution. If NS Customer Service decides that taking a Taxi is your best option, you won't have to pay for it.
NS Customer Service more accessible for the deaf and hard of hearing
22 December 2021
NS is committed to making train travel accessible to all. That is why NS wants to keep improving its services and information for people who are hard of hearing. In late 2020, NS commissioned MarketRespons to perform a survey and get feedback from the hard of hearing in order to find out how they experience contact with the NS Customer Service*. Naturally, NS also wanted to uncover new ways to improve its services for the hard of hearing. NS is proud to announce that more than 250 people took part in the survey.
*NS Customer Service refers to the department that responds to questions, suggestions and complaints via X (formerly Twitter), Chat, Facebook or by phone.
The survey revealed that many respondents were already very satisfied with the current options for reaching out to NS Customer Service, while also highlighting several areas for improvement. Respondents indicated that Customer Service officers occasionally speak too fast or not clearly enough, making them hard to understand for people with a hearing impairment. The survey also showed that while many respondents appreciated being able to reach out to Customer Service via X (formerly Twitter) or Chat, the elderly struggled to use these options. Deaf respondents mentioned that they would have liked the support of a (remote) interpreter at times. As a general rule, the more complex the question or problem, the more important it becomes that customers with an auditory impairment can effectively communicate with Customer Service.
What has NS done with the outcomes?
After setting up a working group that included the various advocacy groups for people with an auditory impairment, we came up with the following improvements.
- NS has put together a brief tutorial for all NS customer service officers with key tips on how to communicate with customers with hearing impairments.
- NS Customer Service can now also easily be reached via Klik voor Teletolk. Here's how it works.
- If, despite all our contact and support options, you still can't communicate effectively with NS Customer Service, you can ask us to send a contact form. Here's how it works.
NS hopes that these adjustments will make our Customer Service just a little more accessible for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.