Our trains

NS invests in the purchase, overhaul and upgrading of trains. Proven technology, sustainability and convenience for passengers are given the highest priority.

New generation of double-decker trains

In December 2022, NS and Spanish train manufacturer CAF signed a contract for the supply of 60 new trains. The trains concerned are a combination of single-decker and double- decker coaches. The trains combine high capacity with high accessibility and can travel up to 160 km/h. After the design phase in 2023, production will start in 2024. The first new trains are expected to become operational in 2028.

Intercity New Generation

In April last year, test runs with Intercity New Generation (ICNG) trains carrying passengers started on the Amsterdam-Rotterdam/Breda route. By running timetabled services with passengers, we were able to test how the trains perform in practice. In July, we extended the tests to The Hague-Eindhoven route. The importance of testing was demonstrated during this period when new teething problems emerged, causing inconvenience to passengers and staff. Train manufacturer Alstom incorporates these experiences in software updates. In early October 2023, the ICNG was authorised in Belgium, and a test programme started there as well. At that stage, tests were still run without passengers, to and from Brussels.

After finishing the tests in the Netherlands, NS completed the trial programme in December. The 2024 timetable includes ICNG journeys on the high-speed line between Amsterdam and Breda. In 2024, the ICNG will be rolled out on The Hague-Eindhoven and Amsterdam-Rotterdam routes, and we will start test runs to Leeuwarden/Groningen and Brussels.

ICNG Germany

The ICNG contract with Alstom offers the possibility of ordering Intercity trains that are suitable for onward travel abroad. For example, NS previously ordered the ICNG Belgium model. In 2021, NS commissioned Alstom to develop two trains from the original domestic order into a model suitable for deployment in both the Netherlands and Germany. In 2023, NS ordered a further ten trains with this option.

New tendering procedure for Sprinter trains

In 2022, NS launched a European tendering procedure for the purchase of Sprinter trains. The call for tenders from suppliers was published in December 2023. NS is looking for a comfortable and easily accessible train that can be used as a Sprinter: fast acceleration and deceleration, and suitable for speeds of up to 160 km/h. The new Sprinter should also be able to be used as an Intercity train on a limited number of routes. This will help us to improve flexibility and efficiency in the way we deploy our rolling stock, resulting in an optimum return on investment. Based on studies of future rolling stock requirements, we have decided to move the launch of the first trains from 2027 to late 2029/2030.

Upgrading Intercity trains

After completing the VIRM1 upgrade, we started modernising VIRM2/3-type double-deckers in 2021. By the end of 2023, we had upgraded 40 of the 45 trainsets comprising 212 coaches.
The project to upgrade VIRM4 double-decker trainsets will begin in 2026. In 2023, we carried out preliminary design work and started a ‘pre-tryout’. In a pre-tryout, we upgrade one train from the series to see whether the design created on paper is feasible in practice.

NS has ordered a total of 109 ICNGs from the train manufacturer Alstom. Of these, 77 trains are intended for the Dutch rail network, with 15 already in operation. In addition to deployment in the Netherlands, the 32 remaining trains are also suitable for onward travel to Belgium or Germany. NS has also ordered 60 new double-deckers, which are being developed by the train manufacturer CAF. The first train from that order is expected to reach the tracks in 2028.

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