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Accessibility of trains in the Netherlands
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December 18, 2013
Veroniek Maat
Veroniek Maat
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Alkmaar , Amsterdam , Groningen
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Accessibility of trains in the Netherlands

Taking the train in the Netherlands is common and an easy facility for tourists to use. The NS, which is the abbreviation for Dutch Railways (Nederlandse Spoorwegen) tries to facilitate for all customers and offers a wide range of services. Most cities with tourism highlights have train stations so if you are planning your trip to one of these cities you can assume you can take the train from Amsterdam. Information about tickets, departure times, facilities, assistance and accessibility is given below.

Train tickets
At least one ticketing machine is available at every train station. You can also buy your ticket at the NS Service desks. If you have a functional disability but do not have an OV-Begeleiderskaart (Public Transport Companion Pass), you can apply for an exemption pass.

Conditions for Public Transport Companion Pass:

Information about departure times
The departure times are listed on electronic notice boards. The times however, are not broadcasted, so if you are visually impaired you have to go to a service desk or call in advance about the travel times. There are Braille trails on many stations. You can also find a map with al the railways and stations on the train stations. If you are arranging your train journey beforehand you can visit the website to look up departure times and get train tickets. This website is available in English.

Accessibility in the train
Most trains have an entrance for wheelchairs, which is marked by a wheelchair symbol and or pink ITS symbol (International Accessibility Symbol). Most of the time those entrances have one or two steps, but are wider and are spacious once inside. This part of the train has space to put the wheelchair and stay in the wheelchair, because there are retractable seats. The double trains have a wheelchair accessible toilet.

Journey assistance
You can request a journey assistent to help you at the train station or in the train. You can prearrange a journey assistant when you'd like someone to join you during your train trip or you can request assistance at the train station. It is advices to arrange this at least 3 hours in advance.

Train ramps
The NS has mobile ramps to attach to the trains for people using a scooter or wheelchair. These are available at most stations and an employee from the train company will install the mobile ramp at the entrance so you can enter the train. In order to let your train journey go smoothly, it's advised to call the NS in advance to arrange a mobile ramp.

Accessibility at train stations
The majority of stations in the Netherlands provide accessibility for people with a mobility, sight or hearing impairment. The train stations are made accessible with elevators, ramps and tactile guide lines. If you need assistance to get into the train, you need to call 3 hours in advance to arrange a mobile ramp for the train. At train stations of most cities you will find a service desk with people who can provide you with information at all times. At the smaller stations, you will find a service pillar (with Braille) which you can contact the NS with.

NS Service Desks are equipped to allow travellers to plug in the audio input of their hearing aids. Cords are not provided so passengers who wish to make use of this service will need to bring their own.

Contact details
To request assistance during the train journey you can call the NS Service desk for access needs 24/7:

Source: www.ns.nl

Information about the accessibility of the train stations can be found on the Transport page of this website.

Updated: 28-03-2017

About the author

Veroniek Maat

Veroniek Maat


Veroniek is the founder of Accessible Travel Netherlands and works on marketing, sales and group bookings.
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