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AMSTERDAM
 Netherlands

Amsterdam Metro Map © R. Schwandl


Metros in Holland

Amsterdam Tram Amsterdam Tram

 System

Amsterdam MetroAmsterdam, the capital city of the Netherlands, has about 800,000 inhabitants (1.3 million in metropolitan area) and is famous for its huge canal system.

The metro system in Amsterdam is a combination of full metro and rapid trams (sneltram) running mainly on the surface. Except for the tram tunnel on line 26, only 3.5 km of all metro routes runs underground in the city centre between Centraal Station and Amstel. Lines 51, 53 and 54 share tracks between Centraal Station and Spaklerweg. Large parts of the metro network run parallel to NS mainline rail lines and cross-platform interchange is provided at Amstel, Duivendrecht (north-south), whereas Bijlmer ArenA, Sloterdijk, Lelylaan, Zuid, RAI and Diemen Zuid railway stations lie adjacent to the corresponding metro stations.

 Oostlijn :: Centraal Station - Gein | Gaasperplas

On 16 Oct 1977 the full metro lines 53 (Gaasperplaslijn) and 54 (Geinlijn) opened between Weesperplein and Gaasperplas and Weesperplein and Holendrecht. Three years later, on 11 Oct 1980, both lines reached the Centraal Station. The 54 branch was extended to Gein on 27 Aug 1982, after Spaklerweg station had been added on 4 June 1982. Mostly 4-car trains are used on these two lines (in peak hours 6-car-trains). Both lines operate every 10 minutes, which together with line 51 means a 3/4-minute headway along the common stretch from Centraal Station to Spaklerweg. As part of the once ambitious 'metromorfose' project only Ganzenhoef station was rebuilt from concrete to glass structure.

Centraal Station Waterloo
Centraal Station | Waterlooplein

Bijlmer ArenA Ganzenhoef
Bijlmer ArenA | Ganzenhoef

 Amstelveenlijn :: Centraal Station - Amstelveen Westwijk

Line 51 was opened as a rapid tram (sneltram) on 2 Dec 1990, it shares tracks with the metro line from Centraal Station to Spaklerweg, then part of the ring line 50 to Station Zuid, and finally it runs south to Amstelveen on a separate right-of-way but with level crossings. The light rail vehicles used on this line are narrower than the metro cars, therefore they have a platform fixed to the doors to bridge the gap at metro platforms, this platform is folded down at Station Zuid, where also the pantograph is lifted up for overhead power supply along the street level section south to Amstelveen. As far as Oranjebaan these tracks are also used by standard tram line 5 (to Binnenhof), therefore stops have platforms with two different levels (like many German Stadtbahn networks). Some stops have an island platform. On 13 Sept 2004, a 2 km extension was added, with three new stations, Spinnerij, Sacharovlaan and Westwijk.

Weesperplein Spaklerweg
Weesperplein | Spaklerweg

Gondel Amstelveen Westwijk
Gondel | Westwijk

 Ringlijn :: Isolatorweg - Gein

Line 50 opened on 1 June 1997, and is fully on the surface, mainly on an embankment. Coming from the north (Isolatorweg) it joins line 51 at Station Zuid and then turns south to Gein along line 54. Apart from Sloterdijk and Lelylaan, all stations along the ring line have similar designs (see Henk Sneevlietweg picture below). On this line up to 8 cars form one train during rush hours.

Isolatorweg Sloterdijk
Isolatorweg | Sloterdijk

Henk Sneevlietweg Overamstel
Henk Sneevlietweg | Overamstel

 IJtram :: Centraal Station - IJburg

Line 26 is a new express tram line, opened on 31 May 2005, that runs form the Centraal Station to IJburg, a newly built area on artificial islands in the IJmeer. It is 8.5 km long and runs on a segregated right-of-way for most of its length and in a tunnel for 1.5 km. The stop Rietlandpark is located 6 m below ground level, though uncovered, resembling a full metro station.

Steigereiland Rietlandpark
Steigereiland | Rietlandpark


 History

THE BACKGROUND OF THE AMSTERDAM METRO by Philip Spangenberg

GeinIn the early sixties the rapidly expanding city of Amsterdam (this refers to the size of its built-up area, not to the number of inhabitants) struggled with an insufficient public transport system. The network, mainly consisting of tram lines, did not reach beyond the pre-war perimeter of the built-up area. Moreover, the speed of the trams was decreasing dramatically due to the upcoming congestion in urban traffic (as compared to present car ownership and car use the problem seems to be of minor importance; there were, however, far less restrictions for the use of the car than there are nowadays). Anyhow, in 1965 the municipal government decided to replace the tram network by a mainly underground metro network covering the whole built-up area of the city and its suburbs. The proposed network consisted of four lines:

(1) a north-south line, branching out both at its northern and its southern ends;

(2) a southeast-southwest line, crossing (1) at the Central Station;

(3) an east-west line, also functioning as a ring line around the city centre, crossing (1) at the Weteringcircuit and (2) at Weesperplein and at a station near Leidseplein

(4) a ring line around the pre-war built-up area of the city (only half a circle, south of the IJ)

Although the north-south line coincides with the main transport axis of the city (and for that reason could be considered as the most important and most urgently needed line) it was decided to start with the construction of the southeastern part of (2), for the following reasons:
- it had the shortest underground section (only 3 km); so construction was relatively cheap and, moreover, could be used as a test case for further construction;
- it connected the city centre with a newly planned area (Bijlmermeer), an urban area the layout of which was based on a thorough separation of car and other traffic (so the metro was an intrinsic element of the urban plan);
- within the city centre the line crossed a rather derelict area (the former Jewish quarter of Amsterdam), the necessary demolition of which was considered not to be very problematic.

Construction started in the second half of the 1960s. The start coincided with the onset of the 'protest and revolt movement'. The metro itself (underground public transport means the final hegemony of the car on the street level) and the demolition of a characteristic area combined with the reduction of the cheap housing stock (very much in favour with squatters-avant-la-lettre) became an important focus of that movement. In the end the image of the metro was very negative, not only among the members of the protest generation, but among a majority of the Amsterdam population - with the exception of the alderman responsible for transport planning ....

Partly due to obstruction, but mainly due to a wrong calculation of the costs, the construction of the southeastern part of the southeast-southwest line (to which the part of the east-west line serving the eastern areas of the Bijlmermeer was added as a temporary branch line) proved to exceed the budget in such a way that shortly before the opening in 1977 the national government, which in the meantime had taken over the final responsibility for urban public transport investments, decided to annul the so-called metro decree. No other metro line than the one already built (now simply referred to as the east line) would ever run underneath the surface of Amsterdam.

 Projects

North-South-Line construction at Central Station © Han SchomakersAfter long discussions finally construction work for the north-south line started in 2002. The 9.8 km long line will begin at Noord (previously referred to as Buikslotermeerplein) in the north of Amsterdam, intersect lines 51-54 at Centraal Station and run under the city centre to Amsterdam's South Railway Station (Station Zuid). From Noord to the next stop at Noorderpark (formerly Johan van Hasseltweg) it will run on the surface, from there it will be underground for 6 km (4 km being in a 20 m deep bored tunnel) with underground stations at Centraal Station, Rokin, Vijzelgracht, De Pijp (formerly Ceintuurbaan) and Europaplein before leaving the tunnel and entering Station Zuid. After serious construction problems in the Vijzelgracht area, the line will not be ready for operation before 2017. Later an extension of this new line to the airport of Amsterdam (Schiphol) and further on to the satellite-town of Hoofddorp is possible. Project Website

The so called "Zuidas" project plans to put a 1.5 km long section of the ringroad, railway and metro lines underground around Station Zuid.

 Suburban Rail

The Amsterdam region is served by a dense suburban rail service provided by NS (Nederlands Spoorwegen). Many stations within Amsterdam lie adjacent to metro stations, and at Amstel and Duivendrecht, cross-platform interchange between the metro and the NS trains is possible.

Amstel Duivendrecht
Amsterdam Amstel | Duivendrecht (NS train crossing metro line 53 tracks)

For service pattern see Alain Lemaire's map.

 New Metro Train
Alstom Metropolis Amsterdam Alstom Metropolis Amsterdam

 

 Links

GVB - Amsterdam Public Transport Authority (Official Site)

Noord-Zuid-Lijn (City Hall site)

Hier zijn wij nu - Noord-Zuid-Lijn Project Website

Dave Pirmann's Page has hundreds of photographs on Amsterdam Transport incl. Metro

Han Schomakers' page which explains colour-coding on Amsterdam metro and tram cars

Die Amsterdamer Metro (Wikipedia/deutsch)

De Amsterdamse Metro (Wikipedia/nederlands)

Netherlandmetro.nl by Alain Lemaire

Amsterdam Tram Track Map at gleisplanweb.eu

 
Metros in Holland
 
 

2004 © UrbanRail.Net by Robert Schwandl.