Talk:Rail travel in the Netherlands

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

What's the biggest Dutch city without train service?[edit]

In Germany it is w:Herten, a city of some 60 000 inhabitants, which goes to emphasize the claim that most German places of any size have rail service. Which is the largest place in the Netherlands without rail service? Mentioning that might give the claim that Dutch Railways serve basically every populated place more ring to it. Hobbitschuster (talk) 12:10, 21 October 2017 (UTC)

I know for a fact that Zeeland has the worst coverage with a single line serving only Beveland (a line running from Bergen op Zoom to Vlissingen, if I'm not mistaken), which leads me to believe that Terneuzen holds that title with ~55.000 inhabitants. If there's some place that can compete, then I recon it would be found in Drenthe or Friesland, but I'll run down the biggest cities to be sure, and get back to you once I am sure that Terneuzen is the biggest place in the Netherlands without a rail connection.
Wauteurz (talk) 12:24, 21 October 2017 (UTC)
Thanks. Hobbitschuster (talk) 12:26, 21 October 2017 (UTC)
After a bit of digging, I found out I was wrong: Oosterhout (Noord-Brabant, ~46.000) is the biggest place with no rail connection whatsoever. If we're counting municipalities, then Terneuzen is somewhere in the top 5 percent, as the city of Terneuzen only counts 26.000 inhabitants. The biggest city with no train connection is Amstelveen (89.000), followed by Spijkenisse (72.000) and Nieuwegein (62.000), but they do have a metro or tram connection. Nieuwegein specifically is well within range of the Utrecht Centraal and Vaartsche Rijn railway stations, and to some degree Utrecht and Nieuwegein have melted together. I am not too sure which one to include as the biggest place without a rail connection at this point, as I have zero experience with metros and trams in general. The metros and trams might not be classified as train services, but especially metros offer large support to the rail network of the Netherlands, which is why I'd like to include metros in this article at some point. The article after all is Rail travel in the Netherlands, not Train travel in the Netherlands.
-- Wauteurz (talk) 16:42, 22 October 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the information. I would say that fundamentally there is no difference between a train and a tram / metro for someone who wishes to get to a place. See Karlsruhe for a place that blurs the distinction between Tram and Train to a degree that only legal and technical definitions can actually answer the question where a vehicle on rails ceases being one and starts being the other. Hobbitschuster (talk) 18:39, 22 October 2017 (UTC)

A few things[edit]

I think you might wish to move some content around so that you have an "understand" section and a lede. If there are sections that lend themselves to standard section headers, that might be another thing. As I understand it there are no domestic sleeper trains and the last international one was withdrawn, too. It also seems there are no restaurant cars, but are there vending machines or people boarding the train to sell food or drinks? What about alcohol? Is it prohibited? On all trains? On some trains?

That said someone who speaks English as a first language should probably check the language and someone who's not a rail enthusiast should check the amount of jargon, nerding out and not directly travel related stuff and judge whether it impedes understanding.

Other than that, great work! Hobbitschuster (talk) 09:30, 30 October 2017 (UTC)

This is an excellent article. I agree with Hobbit's points about a having a lead and 'understand'. These are essential, really. I have a number of questions / comments as well, but they are all minor issues:
  • Alongside the passenger rail companies, what do the italics mean? For example, Noordelijke Nevelijnen. Are they the names of services, or lines, regions of the country? I ask on the assumption that other non-Dutch speakers will wonder what they are too, and whether they are important for buying a ticket, planning a journey, finding the right platform, etc.
  • "Sleeping in the train isn't prohibited by any means so long as you don't enter coaches or train without permission." Is this captain obvious? Or is such advice helpful for travellers who have never used a train before (very likely for most North American visitors).
  • Which of the international / domestic lines are high-speed rail? It would be helpful to say how fast the average intercity / regional / commuter service is, and to give some rough journey times between major cities.
  • Does the NS Reiseplanner work for services provided by other companies (Arriva, Thalys etc)?
  • OMG, the OV-Chipkaart sounds amazing! Smartcard technology is common, I know, but being able to use it on all public transport nationwide. Wow!
  • Is it possible to validate internationally-bought (DB, Eurostar etc) tickets using the check in machines? If possible, is it compulsory? If compulsory, is there any fine or prosecution for failing to do so?
  • "A permanent address and bank account in the Netherlands must be provided when applying [for a personal OV-chipkaart], though residents of the Benelux and Germany may apply using PayPal." So, in other words, unless you're resident in the Benelux or Germany, you can't get a personal OV card, right?
  • I'm a particular fan of your translation instructions under 'Using the train'. They're clear, concise and well-thought-out :)
  • Other than under your seat, where do you put your luggage? Are there overhead racks, or racks at the end of each carriage?
  • I like the section on notable stations very much. Are there any interesting / scenic journeys on the regular network that could be added?
  • Who do you report lost / stolen luggage to? What about more serious crime, including 'suspicious behaviour' and possible terror threats? Is there a Dutch equivalent of the W:British Transport Police?
With your permission, I would like to copy-edit for any language / grammar mistakes. Overall, good job! --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 13:13, 30 October 2017 (UTC)
Let me answer these questions one by one:
  • Sleeper trains: We have no domestic sleeper trains indeed, and I don't know of any sleeper trains that stop in the Netherlands.
  • Food on trains: I believe the food carts haven't been included in trains since the 1960s, as have the restaurant wagons or "Bord-bistro's" on domestic trains. I know for a fact that the ICE-3M does have one, but I am not sure about the Thalys (I think it does), and the HSL Zuid/Fyra (I doubt it does). Alcohol is forbidden on board, and you can be removed from a train should you be drunk or generally an annoyance to other travellers. Food can be purchased at the many shops on stations, such as the AH ToGo (on-the-go supermarket), Starbucks, Smullers (snackbar, also features the recognisable wall-dispensers for fried snacks, i.e. Eten uit de muur), as well as many others. I know for a fact that Arriva bans all food with a distinct odour from their trains (for example some freshly fried chips), but I do not know how NS or any other rail operator handles this.
On some (intercity) routes, there is rail catering offered with drinks and snacks but this is sold from a backpack (no trolley). i suspect this service is not available during rush hours due to the fact that the person cannot move through the train --WallyTheWalrus (talk) 22:10, 1 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Italics: I believe I consequently put Dutch terms that cannot be translated properly in Italics. The Noordelijke Nevelijnen, for example, is the name given to the collection of railway lines in the Northern Netherlands that aren't run by NS. I try to refrain from translating Dutch terms and jargon as it will only make it more difficult for the traveller. A service desk employee won't know what you're talking about when you mention the Fight-valley lines, but will know what you're on about when you mention the Vechtdallijnen, even if it sounds little like the Dutch pronunciation.
  • Sleeping on trains: Yes, it is obvious to a Dutchman, but for those that are used to Intercity routes having at least 30 minutes between stops and used to train rides that can take several hours, it may not be as obvious. The size of the Netherlands isn't very big, as you will know. The times one will spend in a train is usually time in which you can have a 30 minute slumber, not a full night's sleep.
I am not sure if the information about sleeping is relevant for tourists. It isn't something that is specific for the Netherlands as you are also allowed to take a nap in other countries' trains, and it also is clear that we are talking about regular trains with chairs and not sleeper trains with beds. --WallyTheWalrus (talk) 22:10, 1 February 2018 (UTC)
  • HSL: None of the domestic trains are high-speed. The maximum speed for the Netherlands' passenger rail network is 160 kph (which is plenty fast). HSL Zuid and HSL Oost have been ongoing developments, though I must add that -Oost is almost fully out of the picture. HSL Zuid is the connection to Antwerp/Brussels-Midi, which was to be run by the V250 Fyra trains, but have since been replaced with TRAXX locomotives (I believe) with several IC-carriages. ICE and Thalys both use HSL networks outside of the Netherlands, but are very much limited in their speed within the Dutch borders.
Thalys uses the HSL Zuid with max speed of 300 km/h. IC Direct service (the follow up of Fyra) is with traxx at 160 km/h. --WallyTheWalrus (talk) 22:10, 1 February 2018 (UTC)
  • NS Reisplanner: Supports all trains visiting the Netherlands. I've managed to find Arriva and Breng trains (I use these, as well as the app regularly), I've found the aforementioned HSL-Zuid service (I must admit that I have no clue what they call this service now), ICE, Syntus, Connexxion and Veolia (back then they serviced Limburg). I believe I've found Thalys as well, but their train layouts don't show on the app, so I am not certain.
The current service on HSL Zuid is the IC Direct. Also the IC Eindhoven-Den Haag Centraal now uses the HSL between Rotterdam and Breda. --WallyTheWalrus (talk) 22:10, 1 February 2018 (UTC)
  • OV-Chipkaart: Thanks, we've actually had it since 2007. To be fair, paper tickets can still be bought in the form of the disposable tickets or E-tickets (I didn't list these yet, I will soon), but the OV-Chipkaart is the backbone of the Dutch public transport now. I guess it's easier to implement this in a smaller country like the Netherlands, then say, the US.
  • Personal OV-Chipkaart: Correct, people wanting to get one will have to have all you mentioned, but the card isn't forbidden for any non-Germanic people, to put it that way. People that study abroad in the Netherlands, for example, can get a Studentenreisproduct, and will therefore need a personal card. They do, however, have a permanent address in the Netherlands (i.e. their dorm room, campus address et cetera).
  • Translations: Thank you very much! I personally think it might be a good idea to expand upon phrasebooks with more specific terms, for example terms concerning rail travel, cars, eating out, et cetera, as they seem like very handy additions to foreign visitors (and I am more than able and willing to provide translations when it come to that).
  • Storing luggage: As you may have seen, I have yet to add that section. I'm rather busy with uni this week, and will give that priority, but filling in empty sections is one of the first things I'll do when things cool down a bit. In short: yes, overhead storage racks indeed. Trains can get crowded from time to time (to be honest, quite often, but NS and ProRail are working on this) and storing your luggage at a central location in the train isn't one of the safest manners in the train travellers' point of view. Rucksacks and handbacks can be stored under the seat or between the seat and your legs, and larger luggage can be stored in overhead racks, which can be found on all trains, even the top-space limited Dubbeldekkers (VIRMs). The general rule here is to never leave luggage in the walking path of the carriage.
  • I don't travel the entire network enough to be familiar with notable routes. The Intercity to Den Helder is lovely during summer though, I can tell you that. It runs through the bollenvelden (the tulip fields) of the North Holland Peninsula, which is a whole load of brightly coloured tulips passing by right outside your window. I used a picture of this route in the banner.
  • Safety, lost and found, etc.: I was planning to include this in stay safe, but haven't yet for aforementioned reasons. I don't know of a railway or transport police, and if there was one, it most likely was disbanded after the reorganisation of police in 2014 or 2015. I'll look into this, don't worry.
The CEO of ProRail (the infra manager) has recently stated that he would like back the railway police, mostly because of increased vandalism of infrastructure. Railway police was disbanded in 2013 and became part of the national police, infrastructure section. --WallyTheWalrus (talk) 22:10, 1 February 2018 (UTC)
As soon as work at uni cools down a bit, I'll delve into what I don't know in greater detail. I highly appreciate the feedback. Feel free to correct me should I make some grammatical errors here and there. My userspace articles are no more than mainspace articles I am working on, but that doesn't restrict anyone else from tagging along. If anything, I would encourage that.
-- Wauteurz (talk) 17:24, 30 October 2017 (UTC)
Sidenote; while the article is called Rail travel in the Netherlands, I think I'll limit it to Train travel in the Netherlands, as I simply have too little of first-hand experience with trams and metros. They simply do not service in the regions I frequent. I can add general information about the two, but I think that will make them seem less notable, while specifically the Metro system is considered the backbone of transport in the Randstad.
-- Wauteurz (talk) 17:27, 30 October 2017 (UTC)

Thanks for all your answers, Wauteurz. When you get the time (there's no rush; I know how intense uni is at this time of year), that info will be useful added to the article. In the meantime, I'll take a look at the grammar, etc.

Other users can always add the metro and tram stuff in future, once this article is in mainspace. You don't have to do everything yourself! Best, ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 18:25, 30 October 2017 (UTC)

No problem. I don't mean to rush the article whatsoever, I just have a tendency to start on userspace mock-ups of articles only to never finish them, and I am trying to fight that habbit. If anything, I want to have this article make it to the mainspace. As for my grammar, when continuing on about things only mentioned in Dutch, keep plurals in mind: Words ending in -en or -s are usually plurals (referring to this edit, which made the "Passenger rail companies" section read like a mess to me, but I don't blame you for that). Just a friendly heads-up :)
Either way, as a student I can travel on the entire public transport network for free from Monday to Friday, so I kind of feel like I should just go to the Randstad and take a few metro rides and take some pictures while I'm there. I'll see about that later, when I have the time.
-- Wauteurz (talk) 21:35, 30 October 2017 (UTC)
I don't think Metros or Trams need to be mentioned here. They aren't in the Rail travel in Germany article and the w:Trams in Karlsruhe are probably the most glorious example there is when it comes to blurring the line between tram and train and making them distinguishable only to legal and technical experts. Hobbitschuster (talk) 00:25, 31 October 2017 (UTC)
Other rail transport in The Netherlands is limited to a few cities and information about these are specific to those city pages. I wouldn't include metro and tram in this article --WallyTheWalrus (talk) 22:10, 1 February 2018 (UTC)

Your heads up regarding Dutch pluralisation is welcome and noted, though from now on I will not attempt to translate any more of a language whose rules I don't understand; I don't want to create more work for you by making dumb mistakes! On the other hand, there should be no Dutch language words on this article without an English translation, unless the word's meaning is obvious. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 11:24, 31 October 2017 (UTC)

How does one get to the Dutch islands?[edit]

When I mentioned ferries I was more thinking about ferries to Dutch islands than international ferries. In Germany you can book a through ticket all the way to one of the East Frisian islands even if for most there's a bus involved in there somewhere. Can you do that in the Netherlands? Can you pay the ferry with the card? Hobbitschuster (talk) 00:16, 4 November 2017 (UTC)

I already thought I was forgetting about some ferries. Yes, that is possible. Texel can be reached via the Intercity or Sprinter to Den Helder, from where a bus (line 33) directly connects to Den Helder, Steiger TESO, i.e. the ferry terminal. Vlieland and Terschelling can be reached from Station Harlingen Haven, which is at the end of the LeeuwardenHarlingen line, serviced by Arriva. The 300 meters between the station and terminal can be covered on foot, but one can also take line 71 in the direction of Leeuwarden for a single stop. Ameland can only be reached via Holwerd, which doesn't have a train station nearby. Instead, a speed-service from the Leeuwarden train station (line 66) will have to suffice. Schiermonnikoog can be reached via Lauwersoog, which again, has no nearby train station. Busses run to Leeuwarden (155) and the aforementioned Holwerd (163), as well as some other nearby villages that aren't important in this case. For all usability purposes, the Eemshaven ferry to Borkum (Germany) is non-accessible via public transit. There is no nearby bus stop and the only public transit stop nearby is the Roodeschool train station, which is a rough 1h45m walk away from the ferry terminal. Borkum can best be reached via Emden (Germany), which is connected by ferry to Delfzijl, which ferry terminal is a ten minute walk away from the Delfzijl train station, which in turn is serviced every half hour by Arriva, connecting the station with Groningen.
No ferries are included in the OV-Chipkaart system. One therefore has to book separate tickets for the ferry.
-- Wauteurz (talk) 11:20, 4 November 2017 (UTC)

The information in the article about ferries to the Waddeneilanden is not relevant to this article. This article is about rail/train travel. Information about how to get to the islands, or for that matter any other destination in the Netherlands (wether it is served by rail or not) should be in the destination article. For the ferries from the UK, there might be a link with rail travel as far as there is rail travel included in ferry tickets. But I have not checked that. I thought that StenaLine to Hoek van Holland had some arrangement, but this might be no longer available due to the construction work on the Hoekselijn metro line. --WallyTheWalrus (talk) 12:31, 3 February 2018 (UTC)

I do not see how it is irrelevant to list the Waddeneilanden, a tourist hotspot of the Netherlands, and mention whether they can be reached via rail, and if so, how one would do so. Our priority is to list whatever is most useful to the traveller. If the traveller wants to go to the Netherlands and travel via train, then we ought to tell them how they get where they're going via train. Since the Waddeneilanden are popular with tourists, it is useful to them to see how they can get there by rail-bound transport should they want to use the trains as their main mode of transport. This information should of course also be listed on the pages of the Waddeneilanden.
I think that we shouldn't exclude the Hoekse Lijn now that it has been converted to the Rotterdam Metro network. This article is about rail travel, not train travel. If an article about rapid transit, urban rail or the like for the Netherlands ever makes it into mainspace, then we ought to list the Hoekse Lijn there instead. Until that point, it is listed perfectly fine where it is now as it is still within the scope of this article.
-- Wauteurz (talk) 12:48, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
I totally agree with you that the Waddeneilanden are a tourist hotspot, and WikiVoyage should provide information about these destinations and how to get there. My point is that this information should not be in this article, but rather in the articles about the islands themselves. There is no point in double listing this extensive information both in the destination articles and here. Actually, I think this is an essential discussion for this article. What is the scope and goal of this travel topic?
Note that this is a travel topic which is per WikiVoyage definition: articles either about a specific topic that is too large or detailed to go in a specific travel guide destination page, or travel tips that are so general that they apply to many destinations and don't need to be in each specific travel guide. I think it is a bit of both: it provides very detailed information about rail travel (which is too much for The Netherlands page) and the information applies to all places with a train station so this article prevents that each destination needs information about tickets, ov-chipkaart etc.
In my opinion, this article should help the traveler with a scope/overview of the network, general information about connections and frequency (the network acts more like a suburban network with high frequenties especially in the Randstad), how to plan your trip, which ticket do I need, how to use ticket system, how to use stations and trains. Which for the most part is already in the article. Travellers/tourists interested in the Waddeneilanden or any other hotspot will likely first check the destination page, and if they want to go there by train they can find practical information about how to use the system in this article. I think a good middle ground would be a 'understand' section in this article which gives an overview of the network, and summery of the tourist destinations which have no railway connection. This would also include Zeeland and Zuid-Hollandse eilanden and maybe others.But detailled information about which bus to take to the ferry has nothing to do with rail travel.
Regarding the Hoekselijn: my point is that information about international ferries should be in the Netherlands Get in section, since it has absolutely nothing to do with rail travel in the Netherlands. The discussion about if this is a rail or a train topic is another discussion, which was mentioned before on this talk page. Also note that the Hoekselijn is still being converted and no metro will be in service for at least a couple of months. There is still a replacement bus service running. But again this information should be in the relevant destination articles, since it is only relevant for travelers within the Rotterdam metropolitan area.--WallyTheWalrus (talk) 14:44, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
I can agree with you in the sense that I believe that #Combining modes of transport isn't an ideal section as it stands. The reason I included all the Waddeneilanden is for completion's sake. The section is partly due for an update either way, as the Eemshaven will soon be connected via rail as well. Saying, however, that ferries from Hoek of Holland should be moved to The Netherlands' Get In section is unfair, as it is not just a way to get in, but also one to get out of the Netherlands with. The discussion about the scope of the article we've had before ended without a solid agreement, and I am welcoming to a complete discussion about the scope. I think that the Hoekse Lijn, though it may best belong in a different travel topic, should remain in the article until further notice as it is connected via rail (albeit that a bus replacement service is in place as we speak). Right now, I'd suggest you start a discussion about the scope of the article if you think the article is headed the wrong way. I've expressed before that I'd like to see the article renamed to Train travel in the Netherlands and get Rapid transit in the Netherlands to accompany it (I started the article here, feel free to add onto it). For now, let's leave the article as it stands concerning its scope and start a discussion about the scope of the article if it's that bothersome.
Sidenote; though the train services in the Randstad are very much like suburban rail, train services extend outside of the Randstad as well, which is why I tried to bring in a rough 50/50 balance between the Randstad and the rest of the country.
-- Wauteurz (talk) 15:42, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
I agree with you that the 'combining modes of transport' section is not ideal. I understand your point about including them to be complete, but this is a slippery slope and before you know the rail travel part will be the minority of the article. I think it also has to do with the specific situation in the Netherlands, which has one public transport pass (OV-chipkaart) for (almost) the entire country, and for many travellers it is common to combine train with local transport. Maybe the article should be expanded to all public transport? I will check out the rapid transit article later. For this moment, I agree to keep the article as it is, but we surely need some new readers especially not familiar with trains and public transport in the Netherlands to review it from a traveller/tourist perspective.--WallyTheWalrus (talk) 17:39, 4 February 2018 (UTC)

What's left to add?[edit]

I'm feeling like I've added as much as I can, but seen the size the article has gotten to (from 0 to 80.000 bytes in less than a month!), I may have overlooked some things. As for the topics above and things I promised to add:

  • "Understand" section and lede: I haven't got the section yet, but I do have a little lede in the article right now. I'm not sure what to move where and what to add here in order to get that done.
  • E-Tickets require someone to have a printer available and generally are a hassle to deal with, as they are subject to different rules within the transport system. For the traveller's sake, I think it may be best to leave them out, or at least for now.
You no longer need a printer for an e-ticket as long as you have the NS app installed on your smart phone. By opening an e-mail link on your smart phone the e-ticket will be added to the app. It provides a QR-code which can be scanned by conductors, and which acts as a key for the ticket gates with optical reader. Furthermore NS also sells e-tickets online to be loaded on your OV-chipkaart however I have no experience with those. I do not necessarily agree with your statement that e-tickets are a hassle due to different rules, in general it is very clear what you buy and which conditions apply. The only problem is the fact that many discount day passes sold as e-ticket by third parties like Hema, Kruidvat etc are providing information in Dutch only --WallyTheWalrus (talk) 22:28, 1 February 2018 (UTC)
  • HSL: I've added what I know and could find throughout the article. Consider this done.
  • NS-Reisplanner: Like I said above, I use the app frequently, and have changed its language to English just to get to know it from a traveller's perspective, and I think it may need a further explanation seen as how the basic things are translated, but the somewhat odder things aren't. Checking for instance my daily train will show everything except for the "No NS-service" marker in English, whereas the overview of disruptions show for example: "Zandvoort aan Zee - Haarlem: werkzaamheden 18 t/m 26 november", from which a non-Dutch speaker can probably interpret that between Zandvoort aan Zee and Haarlem, something must be going on in relation to 18 and 26 November. The description is even worse: "Door werkzaamheden rijden er van zaterdag 18 t/m zondag 26 november geen treinen maar bussen tussen Zandvoort aan Zee en Haarlem. Plan uw reis vooraf met de reisplanner." This however lists that substitute busses will be in service, and give you the tip to plan your journey in advance.
  • Translations and symbols: I'm thinking of adding SVG symbols which like {{flag|}} can show a small icon of the sign it is describing. I've made a few already and they look fine when viewing from afar, so I think they'll do fine at 25px (or whatever the flag template uses).
Please be aware of potential copyright issues. The signing currently used on all railway stations is design by Mijksenaar. --WallyTheWalrus (talk) 22:28, 1 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Storing luggage: One of the first things I added onto the article since the last topic. Consider this done.
  • Safety: I've yet to add onto this, but have already added on the information on lost and found.

Are there any subject that need adding onto? Anything that needs imagery or is lacking in general? I think I'll give myself the goal of having this article up in the mainspace by the end of the month, just to get it done.
-- Wauteurz (talk) 20:40, 15 November 2017 (UTC)

I think we're set for mainspace, if not a guide status, but I'd like others to verify this. (@Hobbitschuster, ThunderingTyphoons!:)
-- Wauteurz (talk) 21:25, 24 November 2017 (UTC)
I haven't had a proper look, but it's looking good, and I would definitely support a move into mainspace. Anything missing will be more likely to be spotted by many pairs of eyes rather than just three :-) Overall, this is excellent, and 'guide' status can't be far off. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 12:12, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
My thoughts exactly. I would've made the article Guide status already if the guidelines about travel topic's statuses were somewhat less vague, but since travel topics are one of the more diverse and varying articles I'm pretty sure that I'm asking a bit too much. I'll go ahead and move the page into mainspace.
-- Wauteurz (talk) 13:04, 25 November 2017 (UTC)

Regarding the icons Wauteurz mentions above, I'm wondering whether making those icons from scratch wouldn't just be a waste of time. Pictorial symbols' meaning should be clear at a glance; that's what they're for. If you're saying there are symbols used on the Dutch railway network where the meaning is not immediately clear for someone outside of the local frame of reference - see the British Rail double arrow as the universal symbol for a station in the UK as an example of that elsewhere - then photos of those might be found on Commons (or taken and uploaded). But I struggle to see why the article would be better for including a bunch of easily-understood icons as part of the "Finding your way about" list. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 21:02, 21 January 2018 (UTC)

I don't think that those icons should be added immediately. I wouldn't mind if they don't even appear in the first place. There isn't any universal symbol for a Dutch train station, but the symbols used in stations can be found on Commons:Category:Pictograms at train stations in the Netherlands. They wouldn't take too much time if I were to make them into SVGs, which at the moment, I have no concrete plans for. If I were to add them, then that would be to avoid confusion. It's more obvious to the traveller to show what you're talking about rather than describing it. I believe I have already translated most if not all of the symbols you'll find in Dutch train stations, so adding the icons wouldn't have a big impact on the coverage of the article.
-- Wauteurz (talk) 09:18, 22 January 2018 (UTC)
Again, please be aware of potential copyright issues. The signing currently used on all railway stations is design by Mijksenaar.

Furthermore, the signing provides both icons plus the Dutch text, helping the traveler with understanding the Dutch rail terminology. --WallyTheWalrus (talk) 22:28, 1 February 2018 (UTC)

Getting to star status[edit]

Content-wise, I believe that it is very much possible to improve this article to star status. To get there, I have two suggestions myself, but I'm always open for inputs from others. If you think anything is missing to make this topic's coverage completely, please make a note of that below. If anything is only remotely unclear or vague to you, then feel free to ask me about my intentions with or for an explanation about the text in question. Either way, here's my ideas:

  1. I have a holiday coming up and hold a Studentenreisproduct on my Chipkaart. I can freely travel using public transit in the Netherlands from 4 AM on Mondays until 4 AM on Saturdays. Beside that, I own a pretty decent DSLR and I therefore want to know if anything can be expanded upon with images currently lacking. Whether it be signposts at stations, displays found in stations, interiors and exteriors of trains or anything vaguely related to the subject of this article, then let me know.
  2. I've come across Matroc's Mapdraw template. I'm thinking of integrating this into the article, whether that be in the article itself or a /Map page to not clog up the page's wikitext with loads of templates isn't for me to decide. I'd like to display information about the lines as well as the interchange stations using this template if possible (I haven't dived into the template that much). Information for lines would include the operator, running stock, maximum speeds, travel time from start to finish, as well as features of the line (in the form of an image or something the like). I'd like to give stations an overview of connected stations, operators, nearby locations and station facilities (info desk, on the go restaurants, et cetera). Again, I'm not sure if this is possible or not, but I guess Matroc is the person to tell me that. One issue I am aware of already, is that none or close to none of the Dutch railways have geopaths in their Wikidata listings, so geopaths will have to be created manually. My main reason to do this is to give the traveller/reader a hands-on overview of what they can expect on the Dutch network.
Hi - Mapdraw2 is experimental and undergoing periodic testing and changes. I am unsure if it; as it stands now, would solve what you wish to do. You may have to use other templates or lists as well as text or something like that to replicate all that information you wish to put on a page. There are about 200 or more stations to put on a map and I think that may slow down cpu some or crash limit barriers. I did a test using a maki symbol for train - which when clicked produces a station title its abbreviation - an image and minor added descriptive text. I did one only 1 maplink (marker) type for Arnemuiden railway station - This I put directly below a map of the Netherlands (whole map might not be necessary?) - I have a couple more batches to add to see if it breaks things or not. Might be able to draw a frame or box around interchange stations? -- Matroc (talk) 15:17, 4 February 2018 (UTC)

Again, if anything is unclear, needs explaining or imagery, let me know! I've got a free week coming up in the week of Monday the 12th through Friday the 16th of February, so if images are needed, please let me know before then. Also, if you think that this article is not cut out for star status, or any feedback, whether it be positive or negative, feel free to leave it below. Thank you in advance :D
-- Wauteurz (talk) 20:52, 1 February 2018 (UTC)

I think the main issues are connected to language and on that maybe the likes of User:Ikan Kekek, User:Andrewssi2 or User:AndreCarrotflower could have a look. As for anything truly missing I would not know to be quite honest. It might also be helpful to get the perspective of somebody who rarely rides trains and/or is less familiar with European railroading, which is a firmly 21st century business as opposed to the more 19th century approaches in some other places. Another thought just occurred to me: Are there any Dutch train riders forums or the likes? Maybe place a link there soliciting feedback... Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:17, 1 February 2018 (UTC)
By coincidence I was using the Dutch railway system a few weeks ago (Thalys from Brussels to Amsterdam, Intercity to Leiden, etc).
My feeling is that the first part of the article (structure, history) reads more like a Wikipedia article than a practical travel guide. The second part looks genuinely useful, but is rather voluminous.
As purely constructive criticism about the kind of article I would have wanted to use a few weeks ago, it would have been more concise. Andrewssi2 (talk) 01:02, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
@Hobbitschuster: I only know of OV in Nederland as a platform to solicit for feedback and I'll make a post on there as soon as I'm done with my current semester (most likely next Tuesday).
@Andrewssi2: I want to have said that it's not that easy to make purely factual information not seem as though it belongs on Wikipedia or informative media the like. I feel like I could shorten the article somewhat here and there, but that doing so would quickly turn to removing either useful examples or useful information. I'd also like to argue that the article seems properly navigable to me, and that the amount of text in the article therefore isn't too big of an issue.
-- Wauteurz (talk) 08:19, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
Is there nothing like ICE Treff in the Netherlands? This forum does get repetitive in some users complaining about the same (supposed or real) design flaws of German high speed rail, but it is one of the larger places of rail related discussion with at least some factual basis to back it up (newspapers so often get elementary stuff wrong)... Maybe I should register there and ask them what they think of the "rail travel in Germany" article... Hobbitschuster (talk) 11:44, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
There doesn't seem to be such a forum or community from my attempts to google for one. I have since found Spoorforum as well, which at least isn't about public transit in general but about rail travel instead. Most results I get when searching for forums and communities the like are model railway or railway simulator oriented, which I recon will be of little help. Still, Spoorforum and OV in Nederland are both filled with people interested in and with much knowledge about Dutch rail travel. I can of course request some feedback from either of them. Another option for more general audience would be /r/theNetherlands over at reddit, but I recon we do not need Dutch readers per se, so I'd refrain from asking there.
-- Wauteurz (talk) 12:16, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

Tips for saving credit[edit]

The text currently says the following about the frugal nature of the Dutch: Though that stereotype is definitely not applicable to every Dutchman, it does apply to some that are willing to pay the risk of a fine larger than a hundred euros by taking a train to its final destination from the stop prior to it, in order to have the guarantee of a seat. This sentence is not very clear and I am not sure what behaviour is referenced to. I would say that most Dutch travellers would save money by using subscriptions or by buying the cheap day passes at Kruidvat or Hema for example. Not by traveling without a valid travel product or ticket.

Furthermore money is to be saved by not buying disposable tickets but using an anonymous ov-chipkaart. --WallyTheWalrus (talk) 23:04, 1 February 2018 (UTC)

I've been in doubt as to whether I should reword or remove the passage you've quoted. What I intended with it was: One is travelling in rush hour, and wants to have a seat in the train. He usually gets on the train at its last stop before the terminus in order to get a seat on the train that will pass by the same station several minutes later, going in the right direction for this traveller. This is only possible if the train used will turn around at the next station and if there are no other trains on this route going in the 'right' direction between the departure of the train to the terminus and the train going the right way. An example here is: Arnhem Velperpoort to Arnhem Centraal to Zutphen. This works because the Chipkaart only knows where you get on and off a train, letting you pay the cheapest way from A to B. Frankly, this is straight up illegal and the only people that I know of that do this own a Studentenreisproduct, which, if I'm not mistaken will let you get away with only a warning if you're caught whilst not checked in correctly or at all. Eventual fines can be reclaimed through the government. The only thing one gains from travelling like this is more kilometers driven for their buck and the guarantee of a seat. Thinking of it, this passage is advocating incorrect usage of the Chipkaart and should therefore be removed.
Furthermore, I think you'll find that in #Types of cards, the anonymous and personal Chipkaart are listed as being cheaper. This might best be repeated in 'Tips for saving credit'. Likewise, mentions of Kruidvat and other shops the like offering cheaper day passes and the like are mentioned elsewhere in the article, but can do with being repeated in 'Tips for saving credit'.
-- Wauteurz (talk) 08:03, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification. I already had a suspicion that this involved students ;) Since it is illegal to travel towards your check-in station, and it is also a weak example for the frugal nature of the Dutch, I strongly suggest removing any reference to this practice. --WallyTheWalrus (talk) 14:01, 3 February 2018 (UTC)

Sprinter vs InterCity[edit]

I'm having trouble understanding this sentence: "Sprinters are nearly always servicing lines that also have Intercity connections, so if you're travelling to one of the major cities that an Intercity would, but a Sprinter would not visit, your preference should go to an Intercity." If the Sprinter doesn't visit one of the major cities I'm travelling to, why would anyone think of taking it? Griffindd (talk) 17:48, 30 July 2018 (UTC)

@Griffindd: Both Sprinters and Intercities are NS's fancy lingo for a stopping train and a fast train. Sprinters stop at all the stations along the route, while Intercities only go to the major stations. Intercities are, assuming you're travelling an entire line, the faster option. The advantage of Sprinters is best shown through an example: Say that you're staying in Amsterdam, but want to go to the Ouwehands Dierentuin zoo in Rhenen near Wageningen. You would first take the metro or tram from your hotel, B&B, et cetera to a railway station, most likely Amsterdam Centraal. From here, you want a train going to Utrecht or travelling via its station, so you take the Intercity from Amsterdam Centraal to Nijmegen. You get off the train in Utrecht and take the Sprinter to Rhenen, since the only railway to the town is serviced by a Sprinter.
Intercities and Sprinters don't always go the exact same route. But when they do, the Intercity is the faster one of the two. Not everyone is staying in the larger cities, but some instead, prefer to stay in places that they could only get to using a Sprinter should they prefer to travel by train. The only example of a station that does not see Sprinters stop there is Veenendaal de Klomp. The sentence, however can best be changed to "Sprinters, or stopping trains, are nearly always servicing lines that also have Intercity (fast train) connections, so if you're travelling to a major station along a certain route, then your preference should be with an Intercity, which stops at less stations than a Sprinter and is generally the faster of the two services."
—The preceding comment was added by Wauteurz (talkcontribs)
Am I the only one here who thinks "to service" as a verb sounds weird when used in this way? I would say "train x serves station y" instead... Hobbitschuster (talk) 00:03, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
I was personally taught that trains service a station or a line, but to be fair, this was taught to me by a teacher that wasn't that well-off with her native Dutch language, so for all I know, the same may apply to their English capabilities. I may well be wrong, but what I'm writing, in this case trains 'servicing' a station, is what I have been taught.
-- Wauteurz (talk) 14:43, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
"Servicing", in some contexts, has a sexual connotation, which we can avoid by using "serving", which is also shorter. "Servicing" may be what the railway industry uses, but we can use plain English. Ground Zero (talk) 18:56, 24 September 2018 (UTC)
@Ground Zero, Hobbitschuster: I am not against changing all instances of servicing to serving or anything that fits better - feel free to do so. I am not a native speaker and I wouldn't be surprised if I'm not always using the right word :)
-- Wauteurz (talk) 19:08, 24 September 2018 (UTC)