The profile of NS
NS provides a broad range of services that go beyond train services. The focus in all our activities is on passengers, passengers and passengers. Our approximately 37,000 colleagues in the Netherlands and abroad work hard to achieve this, every day. Together with our partners in public transport, we continuously work to further improve our service and performance levels.
NS in the Netherlands and Europe
Ever since NS was founded – in 1837, as NV Hollandsche IJzeren Spoorweg-Maatschappij (HIJSM) – we have been contributing to mobility and progress in the Netherlands. We play a very significant socio-economic role in our domestic market. Since 2002, NS subsidiary Abellio has been providing rail transport in parts of the United Kingdom and bus services in London, and since 2009 it has also been providing regional rail services in Germany. We also provide international connections in collaboration with our partners NMBS, Deutsche Bahn, ÖBB, SBB, Thalys and Eurostar.
NS consists of several business units, including NS Operations (approximately 13,400 employees, on average, in 2021), Commerce & Development (approx. 700) and NS Stations (approx. 2,700 including retail), plus central and staff departments such as HR, Finance and IT (approx. 2,200). Abroad NS has operations through Abellio UK (approx. 16,000 employees) and Abellio Germany (approx. 1,500).
NS Operations is responsible for train transport and train maintenance on the Dutch main rail network, including HSL South. This is where the colleagues work who enable our trains to travel from A to B in the Netherlands and across the border. They include train drivers, guards, mechanics and service staff, as well as the colleagues who, behind the screens, help implement our timetables and manage operations during unexpected events. This business unit also includes NS International.
Commerce & Development focuses on timetables, train formulas, customer service, marketing activities, strategic innovative projects and on making the company more sustainable. This unit is also responsible for ticket and season ticket sales. In addition, it conducts appreciation surveys among passengers and identifies areas for improvement.
NS Stations works on a high-quality network of 400 large and smaller stations and promotes area development initiatives around the stations. Together with ProRail, public authorities and carriers, NS Stations aims to make passenger journeys and the time spent in and around stations as convenient and pleasurable as possible. Stations are hubs for various forms of mobility, including public transport bicycles (OV-fiets) and bicycle parking. In recent years, NS Stations has worked with ProRail and various municipalities to renovate major stations to ensure that stations are ‘clean, intact and safe’. In collaboration with local authorities, citizens and social entrepreneurs, we seek effective integration of our facilities in the station environment.
Abellio UK operates rail franchises for parties including DfT and TS in the United Kingdom (Greater Anglia, Merseyrail, ScotRail, West Midlands, East Midlands) and operates bus franchises in London. Abellio Germany operates regional rail franchises in Germany. In 2021, Abellio Germany operated nine franchises in four regions. In view of the tightened focus and developments in recent years in the United Kingdom and Germany, NS has reconsidered its international strategy where its foreign operations fail to contribute to the interests of passengers in the Netherlands.