A Slightly Better Spoorkaart


The majestic purple mountains of Noord-Holland.

  • I was in the Netherlands in December, and had a very good time. People rightfully rhapsodize about the country’s bicycle- and pedestrian-friendliness and well-developed rail transport network. However, the country’s official railway map does that annoying thing where it’s less a useful guide for going from Point A to Point B and more of a brag about how extensive the network is.
  • In addition, the country doesn’t number its railway services, instead identifying them by final destination, which can be an adventure when that’s what your station isn’t. What I’m saying is I got on the wrong train from the airport and had to use the Metro to backtrack, which was fun.
  • There is an unofficial Spoorkaart for 2018, which is generally quite good, albeit somewhat disorganized. I saw quite a few places where they had to squash and stretch the route lines so it could fit in their finite canvas. So basically my main goal here was straightening out and organizing the Spoorkaart a bit more.
  • I also don’t think I’ve ever seen a map where the railways around Amsterdam are shown as a square.
  • I threw in a line numbering system, because the Dutch railway network sorely needs one.
  • Also included are the rapid transit systems in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, the Hague, and Utrecht, because with the Rotterdam Metro taking over the Hoek van Holland Line and offering an alternate service between Rotterdam and the Hague, it seemed necessary.

About theoditsek

I like going places.
This entry was posted in amsterdam, maps, rotterdam, the hague, Uncategorized, utrecht. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to A Slightly Better Spoorkaart

  1. Simon S. says:

    Wow, as someone who lives close to the Dutch border and travels a lot in the Netherlands, this is heaven.
    This map is really fantastic, I will definitely use it the next time when travelling through the Netherlands and I think you should send this to NS, other rail operators or the Dutch transport ministry (Ministerie van Infrastructuur en Waterstaat).
    There are only a few small things I have to “complain” about (although it’s really nitpicking):
    – I think you should note on the main map, at which station the service frequency changes. For example on line 97 from Leeuwarden to Stavoren, one might think there is regular service throughout the line, but actually, the Sneek-Stavoren section is only operated once per hour
    – also, I don’t really understand why sometimes, there is a “doesn’t-stop-here” tick where a line skips a station, sometimes there isn’t (e.g. line 54 has ticks at Heerlen Woonboulevard and Klimmen-Ransdaal, but not at Voerendaal)
    – the slow category for trains is actually Sprinter (for NS and Abellio R-net trains) and Stoptrein (for all other operators)
    – the Intercity category should be Intercity/sneltrein, and also include lines 54 and 89
    – the label “DB Regio NRW” is wrong, as half of the border-crossing German trains are not actually operated by Deutsche Bahn. RE13 and RB61 are Keolis, RE19 is Abellio Rail NRW. Maybe “German services” would be a better name.
    – you’re lucky no Walloon persons have seen this yet, quickly change “NMBS” to “NMBS/SNCB”.
    – the IC to Belgium also stops at Noorderkempen, and also, the line you call IC35A usually shuttles between The Hague and Brussels, with only a few trains continuing to Amsterdam.
    – the layout of Winterswijk station looks a bit weird, it’s not a terminal station, but rather a through station where the lines from both directions terminate.
    – for line 66 in the key on the right it should be “Doetinchem” instead of Doetichen
    – the Uithoflijn of the Utrecht light rail while not be used by lines 60 and 61 (as they use high-floor trams), instead a new no. 22 line will operate there.
    – “Basel Badischer” should be “Basel Badischer Bahnhof” or “Basel Badischer Bf” (rather not Basel Bad, as then people think it’s a station serving a swimming bath)

    By the way, I posted the map on a Dutch train forum, maybe you would also like to read the comments there: http://www.ovinnederland.nl/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=13870

    • theoditsek says:

      Goodness, there’s quite a lot I didn’t know and/or ruthlessly simplified, evidently to the detriment of the people who actually use these services. Also interesting to see where my map conflicts with the mental map in users’ heads.

      Also, thanks for the boost! It was tough to nail down which short-turn services to integrate and which to separate, but a general rule was that if it was a peak-only service or had a unique stopping pattern it should be separated. I especially liked jesse-cruzu’s suggestion to just use the already-existing serial numbers as a basis for the line numbering system (e.g. 2200 –> IC 22), and it’s something I’d seriously consider trying out if and when I update this thing for 2019.

      • Puck says:

        In addition: Arriva in Limburg actually does use route numbers, they can be found here: https://www.arrivapdf.nl/web/file?uuid=d80777d6-2104-4582-84a0-0531c21d8e70&owner=af8aec32-6c73-47d5-af4d-f1553a2c3b77&contentid=9196
        Also, out of curiosity, what made you include certain tram lines but not others?
        And to be the blunt, direct Hollander: how come you took the wrong train at Schiphol while all stations served by the train at that platform is always indicated at the electronic sign above that platform? 😛

      • theoditsek says:

        • Ooh, yes, I did see that! I notice it’s been changed from the S-Bahn-esque numbering system they had last year.
        • The sneltram systems were featured on the map largely because some of them (M51 south of A’dam Zuid, RandstadRail 3 and 4) share tracks with the metro systems in the area and are otherwise largely separated from street traffic.
        • I was tired and jet-lagged and just saw “Amsterdam” on the destination sign. 😛

  2. Klaas van der Zanden says:

    Hello Theo,

    Always great to see people make pretty maps. The Spoorkaart 2018 your referencing used to be unofficially created every year by the website treinreiziger.nl , but since this year it has been taken over by NS, and therefore it is no longer unofficial. https://www.treinreiziger.nl/ns-neemt-spoorkaart/ It is now an official NS map, just a different one. Actually I have seen some news items about the NS, and you actually see them using it, for there scheduling and for there planning. So that is a slight correction it is not unofficial.

    Anyway what we are really waiting for is a railway map of Belgium, not a single good one exists. The official one http://www.belgianrail.be/nl/klantendienst/infodiensten-reistools/~/media/B47DA7B888224B87BF23077BD3D26D59.pdf is just a blind overview of tracks.


  3. Hi, i like to have contact, because i like to publishe this railway map at Treinreiziger.nl. Is that possible?

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