Hoekse Lijn Metro

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radamfi

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For me the issue (Harwich problems aside) has been more the poor interchange arrangements and info at the Schiedam end, especially if one is on an international ticket, in particular in light of the paucity / absence of staff (RET or NS) and the need to get through those ghastly barriers. The first time I did it towards Hoek, it was pure chance that I found the (very inconveniently located) bus stop, after having "tailgated" somebody through the barrier.
Why should barriers be a problem with an international ticket? The ticket gets you through the barriers.
 
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306024

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The buses are signposted at Schiedam. You must have missed it. If you've a valid ticket then the barriers should work. If not press the help button.
 

superjohn

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The buses are signposted but, having been added onto the end of the existing line of stops, they are a long walk from the station itself.

The biggest problem is how busy they can be as they primarily serve local commuters. The morning ferry arrival and evening departure unfortunately coincide with the busiest times and it can be difficult to get on if you are carrying luggage. Traffic can be very busy and stop-start at those times as well.

Ticketwise, I am hoping the DB site will recognise the Metro link once it is running. The last time I tried to book it accepted Hoek as a destination but routed me via Brussels, London, Harwich and the ferry back across to Hoek. I ended up having to book to Schiedam and getting a local ticket from there. Only around €4 so not a biggie but it still seemed steep compared to the €19.90 supersparpreis that had got me all the way to that point from Kassel!
 

superjohn

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Bus 711 is non stop but it still carries plenty of local passengers to and from Hoek, as did the previous sprinter service.

When the bus service started I‘m sure there were some buses provided by Stena intended for ferry passengers. These don’t seem to exist any more.
 

37201xoIM

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The experience I reported above was the first time I used it. I understand that since then the signage has been improved (obviously the second time I couldn't judge very well because I knew where I was going!), and I think some sort of arrangement was put in place to give international tickets (e.g. DB) something that will now open the barriers? Not however entirely sure what the point of a comment like "The ticket gets you through the barriers" is, in that context!
 

chubs

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Off topic but what's happened to the linkspans and departure halls for the high speed boats at Harwich and Hook? Just sitting there abandoned?

Are there any other abandoned departure areas and linkspans from when the ports had multiple routes?
 

Groningen

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Besides the problem this line has there is also the issue of the Uithoflijn in Utrecht. That is a complete new line to the university (Science Park). That line is expected start in December 2019.
 

306024

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Off topic but what's happened to the linkspans and departure halls for the high speed boats at Harwich and Hook? Just sitting there abandoned?

Are there any other abandoned departure areas and linkspans from when the ports had multiple routes?
The HSS 'Docking Stations' at both Harwich and the Hook have gone.

See that May 19 is the new date for the Rotterdam metro extension to the Hook being advertised on the Stena ships but post #18 casts doubt even on that. Some more landscaping has taken place at the Hook to tidy it up a bit.

Meanwhile for the next year or so the Stena ships have swapped over, with the Hollandica on the day sailing from Harwich and the Britannica on the night sailing. The crews seem to have remained with their respective ships. Something to do with maintenance time at the Hook I was told.
 
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Groningen

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Still problems on the Hoekse Lijn. In 4 months the money is gone for the busreplacement. Main thing is that trains are not always detected at the railwaycrossings as at the Deltaweg in Maassluis. Also the software sents sometimes wrong speedinformation to the train; making it go slow or even break.
 

jopsuk

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I was on the Hollandica last night; between cycling alongside the line and eating in the restaurant whilst loading was completed I spotted a couple of test trains running- though as I was going along the cycleway I had seen people being stationed at the level crossings, so clearly still some concerns there?
 

AlexNL

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There are still (intermittent) issues regarding to the operation of level crossings, so they have traffic managers along the route keeping an eye out.
 

superjohn

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I saw some unusual testing while boarding the Hollandica tonight. Two trains departed Hoek van Holland Haven in parallel. These were followed, a couple of minutes later, by another two trains departing in parallel.

It seems they are testing all eventualities!

The cars were laden with sandbags and some had been heavily graffitied.
 

AlexNL

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There is progress: a newer software version has been delivered by Bombardier, and level crossings now work properly. The testing programme can now move into the next phase, and then driver training can begin. There is some hope that the line may open over the summer, but RET haven't come up with a date yet.

Do note that this only covers the Schiedam - Hoek van Holland Haven part of the line, the extension to the beach is a separate project which is expected to be completed in 2021. Let's hope that that project goes a little bit better than the rest.
 

Nicholas43

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Trains at Hoek that had arrived together, about 2115, 31 May 2019. Re-opening the last bit to Strand looks a daunting project.Hoek.jpg
 

AlexNL

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Update: the provisional entry into service date of the Hoekse Lijn is now set to 30 September. This date is not yet set in stone, but the current expectation is that there will not be any further slippages.
 

CNash

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I’m planning a trip to the Netherlands on the ferry in October. I do hope the September 30th date for the Hoekse Lijn is still on track - not just for the convenience but as a train enthusiast too!

While I’m here - are Interrail passes accepted on RET metro services in Rotterdam?
 

MisterT

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The interrail pass is only valid between Hook of Holland and Schiedam, so when you're using an interrail pass, you'll have to change at Schiedam for the regular trains:

Can I still use my Interrail pass?
Yes, Interrail passes will continue to be accepted on the RET route between Hoek van Holland Haven and Schiedam Centrum. From 1 April, you will be able to use your Interrail pass for travel on the RET buses which will be providing public transport on that route. Show the bus driver your Interrail pass when boarding.
https://www.ret.nl/home/reizen/dien...ment-bus-services-hoekse-lijn/stena-line.html

As far as I know the line is still set to open on September 30th. The RET is currently testing the timetable without passengers.
 

AlexNL

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RET are currently testing the service, they are running empties to see if everything works. If all goes well, metro line B will open to passengers on Monday September 30th. A month later, peak hour additional services (line A) will also run from Vlaardingen towards Rotterdam.

On Saturday September 28th, there will be a free trial for the public. Between 12:00 and 20:00, the Hoekse Lijn will be open to the public and can be ridden for free (no need to touch in or out).
 

paddington

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:( I have been booking many trips to Rotterdam over the past 3 years as each time I was sure it would be ready... now I will just miss the opening by 1 day and no future plans to visit NL for a long time.
 

AlexNL

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The bullet is through the church ( ;) ), this Saturday the Hoekse Lijn will be accessible to the public for free. From 12:00 to 20:00, you can ride for free between Schiedam Nieuwland and Hoek van Holland.

From Monday September 30th, the metro's will start running for real. Initially they will run to a reduced timetable (the replacement buses will keep running) as the service beds in. After 4 weeks, RET plan to step up the services to the planned frequency.

Source & more info (in Dutch): RET.nl
 

37201xoIM

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Good gods, will wonders ever cease?! With that and the amazing evential reinstatement of the boarding facility at Harwich, this risks becoming a viable alternative route again!
 

superjohn

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Do we know how frequent the free service will be on Saturday? I am travelling on the afternoon sailing to Harwich, for which Check in closes at 1330. I am staying in Rotterdam so I can get to Schiedam Niewland in plenty of time for the 1200 start.

On the face of it there would seem to be plenty of time to take the metro but if I turn up and find it is a 30 min wait and 30 min journey time I might be pushing my luck.

I have tried the RET journey planner but that is only showing the buses. The 1210 bus from Schiedam Niewland is due Hoek at 1317 and I don’t want to run it that close.
 

MisterT

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There is no timetable this Saturday (it's basically just a PR thing) and the metro will only run between Schiedam Nieuwland (not Schiedam Centrum, so there is no connection to the regular trains!) and Hoek van Holland.
If you're travelling this Saturday, the replacement bus is the best option. Otherwise you would have a 20-30 minute walk from Schiedam Centrum to Schiedam Nieuwland (assuming that you are not in Schiedam itself), and then wait until the next metro turns up.
 

superjohn

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I think I’ll leave it then. I’m a regular on the boat so I’ll get to use the metro soon enough anyway.

My plan was to get the tram from Rotterdam CS to Nieuwland so it wasn’t as if the overall journey was going to be free anyway. Instead I’ll go to Centrum and take the fast bus. I’ll go early enough that I should at least be able to inspect the Metro trains at Hoek before boarding the boat.
 

superjohn

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Update...I got the replacement bus and arrived at Hoek around 1130. It turned out the free service was running every ten minutes so I had a spin out to Maassluis Centrum and back.

The stations I saw had been comprehensively rebuilt since NS days, at Maassluis the platform appeared to have been reconstructed from scratch and the centre buildings were gone.

There were quite a few people out for the first train from Hoek and there were loads onboard the first coming the other way. The new station at Steendijkpolder was packed. It seems that half the trains in the regular timetable will terminate there with the remaining three per hour going through to Hoek.

All in all it was great to see the line back in use. The extended bus replacement was becoming a real pain!
 
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