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European Railroad Discussion > Rush Hour Sampler at Amsterdam Centraal

Date: 12/14/19 20:14
Rush Hour Sampler at Amsterdam Centraal
Author: F7sForever

While in Europe last month, I did a lot of my travel by train. I've been attempting to share some of the photos that I took and the experiences that I had. If you've been following along, thanks, and welcome back. If not, feel free to scan back at some of my previous posts if you like what you see here.

My wife has some health issues, so she goes a little slower than I do. On our third day in Amsterdam, she was wanting a nap before we headed out to dinner. So I took advantage of the opportunity to spend an hour or so soaking in the rush hour traffic at Amsterdam Centraal Station, which was a short walk from our hotel. To go with the incredibly friendly people and enjoyable sights, there's a lot of rail variety in the Netherlands as well. The station was a constant stream of trains coming and going as quickly as they could get clear. The platform is 14 tracks wide, and trains approach and depart from both ends of the station. To the west, the tracks fan out mostly south toward The Hague, Rotterdam, and into Belgium and France, while tracks to the east fan out into the rest of the Netherlands. 

Amsterdam Centraal is the second busiest rail station in the Netherlands, behind nearby Utrecht Centraal, which is more centrally located to serve the Netherlands as a whole. Because of its location, Amsterdam Centraal is a termination point for international service from London, Paris, Brussels, and Frankfurt, making for quite a variety of equipment. What follows is just a sampling of the photos I took.

Photo 1: The double decker type VIRM EMUs are the backbone of the Nederlandese Spoorwegen (Dutch Rail) system. They were built by Bombardier between 1991 and 2009, and are in the process of being refurbished right now. During my moves around the region, I rode almost exclusively in these vehicles. They'll be the subject of a forthcoming Inside and Out feature at some point. They're everywhere.

Photo 2: The ICM trains are probably the most intriguing trains in the fleet. I didn't get the chance to ride in any, unfortunately. I understand that they are very popular because they are single level and have plenty of overhead room for luggage and the like. As originally designed, the ICM trains had an extendible connection that could be used to make a continuous walkway between coupled sets. That equipment was removed when the sets were refurbished a decade ago, but they still retain traces of the door, and the distinctive turret cab.

Photo 3: A locomotive-hauled Intercities train has just pulled in from the east, and is swapping crews, while a Thalys PBA set has just arrived from Paris in the west. The Intercity trains are pulled by a fleet of Bombardier TRAXX electric locomotives, and typically have a locomotive on each end of the train.

More photos to follow.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/14/19 20:55 by F7sForever.

Date: 12/14/19 20:19
Re: Rush Hour Sampler at Amsterdam Centraal
Author: F7sForever

Photo 4: While the ICM, VIRM and Intercity trains run the longer distances, NS's Sprinter Service does a lot of the short-haul, slower runs, serving intermediate and rural stations.  The Siemens/Bombardier SLT trains form the bulk of the Sprinter fleet, but a lot of other types are seen as well. These sets are under 10 years old, and are among the newest trains in the Netherlands.

Photo 5: A Sprinter train glides past an Intercities train and a Thalys that is taking on passengers before departing for Paris.

Photo 6: A VIRM train speeds out of the station bound for the Hague.

Date: 12/14/19 20:24
Re: Rush Hour Sampler at Amsterdam Centraal
Author: F7sForever

Photo 7: Another unique Sprinter train was this, one if 16 locomotive-pushed DDM1 trains built by Talbot in the 1980's and still carrying NS's older paint scheme.

Photo 8: The type SGM trains are still earning their keep 40 years later. When they were built by Talbot in the 1970's, they were the most prolific intercity trains in the fleet. But higher demand filled by double decker sets has pushed the single level EMUs into Sprinter service. 90 sets remain in service, making them the second most common train Sprinter type behind the SLT.

Photo 9: While I sat and watched, NS ran a loaded Strukton rock train through the station headed east with Alstom 1800 electric number 1824 leading. I am fairly sure it was a work train. It had a Vossloh diesel locomotive on the trailing end of the train. The locomotive was overhauled and rolled out in September, so I learned later. I was happy to have seen it.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/14/19 20:48 by F7sForever.

Date: 12/14/19 20:35
Re: Rush Hour Sampler at Amsterdam Centraal
Author: F7sForever

Photo 10: After the work train cleared the platform, one Intercities train departed for Rotterdam and beyond, while another arrived.

Photo 11: Nederlandese Spoorwegen owns several Deutsche Bahn ICE-3M sets to support international service to Hamburg and Koln, Germany, about 10 departures a day. They look just like their DB counterparts, but carry NS markings. Of the three ICE-3M trains that I saw during my visit to Amsterdam, two wore NS badges, while one was a DB set. This one had just unloaded passengers, then pulled to this location to swap ends and service the train. It would pull back down after I left the station to load passengers and depart for Koln.

Photo 12: A Eurostar class e320 Siemens Velaro D set arrives from London to close out my visit. The train would disgorge its load of passengers, take on a load of London-bound passengers, and depart about 45 minutes later. The Velaro D-based Eurostar is the next generation in the Velaro line, which originated with the ICE-3 like the design seen in the previous photo. Though they are somewhat similar looking, the Velaro D has a much beefier appearance.

All in all, the variety of trains at Amsterdam Centraal was interesting enough to keep me busy for a while. I spent an evening there as well, which will be a feature for another time.

Thanks for reading!


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/14/19 20:50 by F7sForever.

Date: 12/15/19 10:39
Re: Rush Hour Sampler at Amsterdam Centraal
Author: gaspeamtrak

Wow what a great set of pictures !!! What a great variety of trains you caught !
Just wondering if you stayed at that"IBIS" hotel at the station that was in one of your photos? I would love to stay at that hotel that close to the station !!! :):):)
Thank you for sharing and am looking forward to the rest of your pictures !!!

Date: 12/15/19 11:37
Re: Rush Hour Sampler at Amsterdam Centraal
Author: F7sForever

I have top tier status with International Hotel Group, so we stayed with their affiliates during the trip. In this particular stay, there was a Kimpton about 1/4 mile away from the station that actually turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip - and certainly our favorite hotel of the journey. But I will say this: there was an Ibis hotel within view of the main station in most all of the cities we stayed in - Amsterdam, Berlin, and Strasbourg in particular. Ibis in an Accor brand, and  is affiliated with Mariott in the US. If I ever switch to another hotel brand, I will be giving Mariott some serious thought based mainly on what I saw there in Europe. They sure seem to have a lot of visibility in the immediate vicinity of train stations out there, which is very convenient for a guy like me.


Date: 12/15/19 14:06
Re: Rush Hour Sampler at Amsterdam Centraal
Author: Lackawanna484

The Movenpick Hotel in Amsterdam is above the cruise terminal building, and directly across from the leads into Centraal station. There's also a tram line a hundred feet from the front door.

The Doubetree is across the tracks from the Movenpick.

Date: 12/16/19 06:25
Re: Rush Hour Sampler at Amsterdam Centraal
Author: 55002

Thanks for these - great selection of photos. chris uk

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