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Old January 30th, 2016, 01:25 AM   #3121
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Speaking of 30-min frequencies, are Hoek van Holland Strand and Lage Zwaulwe the only stations on the electrified NS network that don't have at least 30 trains per direction during weekdays?
No. Lage zwaluwe even has a 4x hour service during weekdays from 8-20. Only in the evening the service is reduced to 1x hour towards Roosendaal and 1x hour towards Breda. Normally these services are 2x hour on weekdays.

Hvh-Strand is only serviced during the summer (strand=beach), services outside the summer are indeed limited to 1x hour (6 trains per day), but that is only since this year. Previously this was none outside the summer/spring.
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Old January 30th, 2016, 01:33 AM   #3122
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Quote:
One thing that stunned me recently was that Veolia have 3+2 seating! I can expect it on old trains, but not on something as modern as that! Was that demanded by the province(s)?
Was on one recently, Maastricht-Valkenburg. Terrible, the 3 seats are good enough for 2 and one on the otherside,walking down aisle with luggage is impossible.
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Old January 30th, 2016, 01:54 AM   #3123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilhem275 View Post
Well, in its original Berliner meaning. Today in Germany there are several cases of so called S-Bahn systems operating on mainline tracks (at least for branches outside dense centers).
Today it's a generic term for suburban services, in general it identifies fixed routes serving all stops every 30' or less.
You refer to abusive uses of the term. But these services aren't S-Bahn, at least not yet. They may become one one day. But today they are S-Bahn in their names only.

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Originally Posted by Wilhem275 View Post
In terms of infrastructure, parts of the Dutch 4-tracks network are also designed to be used in a separate setting:
- Woerden - Utrecht (Sprinters on outside tracks)
And how exactly do these services turn without crossing the fast tracks in the middle?

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Originally Posted by Wilhem275 View Post
- Amsterdam - Utrecht - Houten (inside tracks)
Sprinter services calling in Houten don't run to Amsterdam.

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Originally Posted by Wilhem275 View Post
- Rotterdam - Dordrecth (inside tracks)
These services run beyond Rotterdam as well as Dordrecht where they share tracks with other services.

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Originally Posted by Wilhem275 View Post
- the first part of the Utrecht - Amersfoort line (mostly separate)
This is barely more than the station apporoach.

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Originally Posted by Wilhem275 View Post
The Gaasperdammerweg - Weesp stretch was designed as a local-express system but I see that today it's mostly used as a mixed. Delft - Leiden appears to be purely a mixed setting.

Speaking of services this distinction is not really relevant, the important action would be to give univocal names and a consistent information (like uniform coding in the station).
Just as many others you fail to understand that S-Bahn is not just a marketing name for a certain kind of services but a transport system in itself.
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Old January 30th, 2016, 03:25 AM   #3124
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Well, I'm so sorry for my failure but when dozens of systems in several countries share the same name and just 3 of them comply with the "fully separate network" criterion... it's probably time for that definition to rest in peace in history books.
And if we want to indulge into nitpicking, even some regular services of those 3 sacred cows are not 100% sealed off from other railways

It's a view on the system from a mere infrastructural point of view, but in fact the concept of S-Bahn or S-lines or S-Whatever is fully focused on the service provided. Users simply don't notice and don't care if "S" labeled trains run alone or mixed with other trains. Right or wrong, today it's just a marketing term backed up by certain technical criteria, none of which actually regards the infrastructure.
Frankly, I see much more scandal in S-lines operated below the 30' minimum, or with gaps in timetables.

From the point of view of service, the Dutch system is already providing the same stuff -or even more- that many other regions are selling as "S-Bahn" (or its equivalent translation). And this is the only point that I'm trying to make here.
The only peculiarity of the Dutch situation, especially in the Randstad, is that big centers are too close to draw a definite limit for isolated clusters of suburban services (like, all Den Haag services cut in Gouda Goverwelle or Utrecht services in Woerden). But that's just the same in the Rhein-Ruhr or Rhein-Main regions.
The recent and next concepts of service from NS are trying to "clean" the offer to better identify the suburban subsystem, and I like this approach.


About the list, I was just mentioning parts of infrastructure that are mostly used with separate functions. I didn't pretend to show them as perfectly sealed, just as their own designers didn't mean to; and anyway this isn't meant to prove any point about the status of their services.

I know that there are no direct Sprinters between Breukelen and Houten, I was just trying to spare one line in the list...
In general, with the Utrecht projects complete, the Sprinter network won't come in contact with any other traffic between Bijlmer Arena, Woerden, Houten, Hilversum... and this is quite significant.

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Originally Posted by flierfy View Post
And how exactly do these services turn without crossing the fast tracks in the middle?
Actually this is quite interesting: even if the local tracks are the outside ones, trains terminating in Woerden never cross the express tracks.
They call at Woerden on the outermost tracks, then are sent to the Alphen line were there is a single track siding immediately out of the station, named Woerden Molenvliet. They then depart towards Woerden and Utrecht using the flying junction over the fast tracks.
Admirable trick!

Some videos about this:


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Last edited by Wilhem275; January 30th, 2016 at 03:36 AM.
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Old January 30th, 2016, 03:36 AM   #3125
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Major difference from German S-Bahn systems is that train travel is not included, often, on local transportation subscriptions where these exist. So a monthly RET pass doesn't include the right to travel on NS trains between Blaak and Schiedam, for instance, even on the local Sprinter trains.

As far as I know, on S-Bahn systems local travel passes allow travel on S-Bahn trains.
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Old January 30th, 2016, 04:12 AM   #3126
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And also on Regional and Regional Express trains.
What you say is true, but it's due to a political decision. NL decided to give up on area ticketing and rely on the full pay-per-use through the OV-C; although the two systems could easily live together, if there was such a wish.

I love the German area ticketing, so I think this decision is the biggest shortcoming of the Dutch system, because it wastes some of the advantages of an otherwise impressive offer. But this is just my opinion...
In general, I find the Dutch transport system quite poor in terms of communication, ticketing and marketing, especially compared to the advanced status of service and infrastructure. It's both the dream of the planner and the nightmare of the marketer...

But this ticketing limit is not strictly connected to the definition of the Sprinter network. If trains were ever to be included in the city travel passes, also Intercitys should be included, due to the very regional nature of the Dutch offer (in German terms, NS IC and Sprinters are in fact RE and S services).
Think about urban trips between Laan van NOI and Hollands Spoor, Blaak - Schiedam, Sloterdijk - Amstel... people could make good use of open urban access to trains.

In the end, it's a political decision.
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Old January 30th, 2016, 10:54 AM   #3127
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When I commuted into The Hague every day for work back in 2009, I had an NS Trajectabonnement + a local public transport supplement for 2 zones (we're talking strippenkaart zones).

The trajectabonnement was for Zeeland - The Hague HS but with the additional supplement, I was free to choose whether I wanted to continue from HS by tram, or by train (to Centraal or Laan van NOI or whatever was convenient). That was particularly useful when there was some kind of disruption; because it offered alternatives.

So that option doesn't exist anymore then?
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Old January 30th, 2016, 11:50 AM   #3128
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Even more so. You only have to check-in or check-out.
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Old January 30th, 2016, 12:55 PM   #3129
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But the point of the subscription was that it was cheaper and you could use it on any carrier (in this case NS and HTM).
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Old January 30th, 2016, 01:51 PM   #3130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by da_scotty View Post
Hvh-Strand is only serviced during the summer (strand=beach), services outside the summer are indeed limited to 1x hour (6 trains per day), but that is only since this year. Previously this was none outside the summer/spring.
I'd also add that the HvH service is going to get shut down as it's currently undergoing a redevelopment into a subway extension.
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"NS en IenM zijn momenteel nog in gesprek over de precieze dienstregelingsuitwerking van de Intercity Brussel. Nadere informatie volgt separaat."
I used to take this train quite often... but then the price suddenly increased. I remember paying less than €20 for Rotterdam C. - Brussels C. (100% discount in NL) back in 2014/15 (last time in May), now the cheapest option is €34.40 (after discount)
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Old January 30th, 2016, 02:32 PM   #3131
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I used to take this train quite often... but then the price suddenly increased. I remember paying less than €20 for Rotterdam C. - Brussels C. (100% discount in NL) back in 2014/15 (last time in May), now the cheapest option is €34.40 (after discount)
It is always worth checking whether it is cheaper if you split tickets. So a ticket from wherever you are to Roosendaal, Roosendaal to Antwerpen Centraal and one from Antwerpen Centraal to wherever you are going in Belgium. You can buy all tickets from the NMBS website.
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Old January 30th, 2016, 05:37 PM   #3132
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^ I actually found a bus service that's €14 both ways (over €20 cheaper than the NS/NMBS IC service), which also offers free wifi, so I don't think I'll be taking a train anytime soon.
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Old January 30th, 2016, 06:41 PM   #3133
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^ I actually found a bus service that's €14 both ways (over €20 cheaper than the NS/NMBS IC service), which also offers free wifi, so I don't think I'll be taking a train anytime soon.
Naturally, you can get a bus from €1.50 if you book well in advance.
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Old January 31st, 2016, 01:23 PM   #3134
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Naturally, you can get a bus from €1.50 if you book well in advance.
Not sure if serious or sarcastic. But in case of the latter, we're talking about a regular IC service where fixed prices apply, in other words booking three months in advance is still €34.40. And that's considering that I have a 100% discount in the Netherlands (the regular both ways ticket is €64.40). I also tried to split tickets, €27.20 instead of €34.40, which is still €13.20 more than the bus. But again, that's only in case if you were trying to be sarcastic.
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Old January 31st, 2016, 03:22 PM   #3135
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Originally Posted by Wilhem275 View Post
Well, I'm so sorry for my failure but when dozens of systems in several countries share the same name and just 3 of them comply with the "fully separate network" criterion... it's probably time for that definition to rest in peace in history books.
Most certainly not. The terms S-Bahn remains what it has once been introduced for. That won't be changed by a the misuse of some, no matter how many these are.
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Old January 31st, 2016, 03:58 PM   #3136
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Not sure if serious or sarcastic. But in case of the latter, we're talking about a regular IC service where fixed prices apply, in other words booking three months in advance is still €34.40. And that's considering that I have a 100% discount in the Netherlands (the regular both ways ticket is €64.40). I also tried to split tickets, €27.20 instead of €34.40, which is still €13.20 more than the bus. But again, that's only in case if you were trying to be sarcastic.
Bus is bound to be much cheaper than the train, otherwise no one would use the bus. I use long distance buses a lot as I like saving money. My last trip to the Netherlands was by bus. I paid 32 GBP return from London to Amsterdam. Once I paid 2.50 GBP. This morning I travelled from Manchester to London for 1.50 GBP. Britain has had long distance buses (coaches as we call them) for over 100 years and have competed against trains the whole time, even when both were in public ownership. But most people use the train even though it is usually a lot more expensive.
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Old January 31st, 2016, 04:29 PM   #3137
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Bus is bound to be much cheaper than the train, otherwise no one would use the bus. I use long distance buses a lot as I like saving money. My last trip to the Netherlands was by bus. I paid 32 GBP return from London to Amsterdam. Once I paid 2.50 GBP. This morning I travelled from Manchester to London for 1.50 GBP. Britain has had long distance buses (coaches as we call them) for over 100 years and have competed against trains the whole time, even when both were in public ownership. But most people use the train even though it is usually a lot more expensive.
Ok, so you weren't sarcastic, my bad.
Anyway, long distance buses are a rather new concept in the Netherlands, since IC routes have been monpolized by NS for decades. As of now there's only one long distance bus operator challenging the national railways and they're trying to create a customer base on routes that either aren't operated by NS at all or where NS has recently increased the price.
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Old January 31st, 2016, 05:04 PM   #3138
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Please don't compare train travel to travel by coaches, buses...
After huge booming with Souter's MegaBuses in UK and PolskiBus.com in Poland, Owned by Brian Souter's Highland Global Transport, it commenced operating in June 2011. Next turn was intercity buses in Germany. Flix buses and Meineferien started and after again, huge profit they moved across relatively small countries like NL and B. Those green busses are consuming a huge number of passengers, especially the young generation, who buy tickets via their smartphones.
This is what passenger trains are facing now is the way how to handle ticketing and offer good cross country connections and cheap trains tickets for certain trains. This can be done by splitting into:
- budget coach lines(OuiBus, DB IC Bus),
- high frequency train (Sprinter, S-trains)
- High Speed Trains (Thalys, Eurostar,...)

But also, what differs Europe from other continents is that the gros transportation is done by trains. Which means: comfortable, eco friendly and fast way of travelling.
Hope NS, NMBS, DB, PKP, SNCF and other rail operators across Europe will keep the service running for another decades
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Old January 31st, 2016, 05:13 PM   #3139
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Ok, so you weren't sarcastic, my bad.
Anyway, long distance buses are a rather new concept in the Netherlands, since IC routes have been monpolized by NS for decades. As of now there's only one long distance bus operator challenging the national railways and they're trying to create a customer base on routes that either aren't operated by NS at all or where NS has recently increased the price.
But between the Netherlands and Belgium there have been coaches for a long time. Eurolines has been going since the 80s. Was there a coach between the Netherlands and Belgium before that? However, as far as I can tell, no one really cared that much about coaches until competition came. Eurolines weren't really that cheap, just a bit cheaper than the train. Now there are at least 4 companies competing, that is bound to mean low fares.

In countries where the railway is relatively slow and undeveloped, coaches are a more "regular" form of transport. Like Ireland and Scotland. But in Scotland trains have improved a lot in recent years and the coaches are starting to cut their service. In some southern European countries, trains are very dilapidated and there the coach is the most popular form of intercity public transport with coach fares being higher than train fares. Given the level of train service offered in the Netherlands, combined with fares being relatively low, I can't see coaches being more than a niche player.

Another option between the Netherlands and Belgium is the 19 bus between Breda and Antwerpen. It is quite quick as it uses the main highway and costs €8.50 according to:

http://www.grenstreinbus.be/bus/verb...vincie=-2&id=7

Regular travellers in Belgium can take advantage of the Rail Pass, giving 10 journeys any distance in Belgium in a year for €76.00, so €7.60 a trip:

http://www.belgianrail.be/en/travel-...rail-pass.aspx

So Breda to anywhere in Belgium can be done for €16.10 without booking in advance. It is even cheaper if you are under 26 as you can then get a Go Pass.

Also, Roosendaal to Essen is €3.50 so that would be even cheaper, but you must stop at Essen if you want to combine with a Rail Pass.
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Old January 31st, 2016, 07:12 PM   #3140
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But you must stop at Essen if you want to combine with a Rail Pass.
Why? You can buy the rail pass at the NMBS ticket machine in Roosendaal, isn't it? Once you are in possession of the railpass, a ticket Roosendaal - Essen is sufficient to board the intercity A'dam-Bxl, and probably the cheapest ticket you find at the NMBS vending machine or online at their website (as they consider Roosendaal an internal service).
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