Optimizing the Product Offer on the Conventional Railway Line Between Rotterdam and Amsterdam After the Introduction of High Speed Services
Alex Bruijn, Nederlandse Spoorwegen, Peter Bouman, Nederlandse Spoorwegen
After the inauguration of a new high speed railway line between Amsterdam and Rotterdam, the Dutch Railways did not want to lower the level of services on the conventional line. A plan was developed to take best advantage of the new opportunities.
Built in the first half of the 19th century, the traditional railway line between Rotterdam and Amsterdam faced a major challenge in recent years. A new high speed line was inaugurated, offering a competitive half hourly service between those cities. However, the Dutch Railways didn’t want to lower the level of services on the conventional route because of its regional function.
Instead of reducing conventional services, a plan was developed to take best advantage of the new opportunities. Before the introduction of the high speed line, the time schedule was a compromise between transportation on long distance and more regional movements. As the new high speed services were dedicated to offer point-to-point connections between Rotterdam and Amsterdam, the conventional line could be optimized providing regional Intercity services. Analysis of the travel patterns led to the decision to maintain the number of trains on the conventional line, but changes were introduced in routes and stops.
Most interesting modification in the schedule was the introduction of Intercity services, running in a 15 minutes interval, halting additionally on interchange stations in the suburbs of major cities. An impressive development of numbers of passengers occurred: besides offering an important connection with the expanding LightRail networks of Rotterdam, Amsterdam and The Hague, town and country planning emphasized on these spots due to the Stedenbaan program of local governments.
The changes on the conventional route were implemented during the period 2011-2013. The frequency of the high speed services will still expand in the future attracting more long distance passengers to this route. First analysis of the number of passengers shows the success of the modified offer on the conventional route: besides the already realized growth in number of passengers using the high speed services, a growth of more than 10% was achieved on the conventional line.
Association for European Transport