NS Koploper units.

slammerTel

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Hi guys. My 1st entry on here so apologies if this has been asked before ......

I have just stumbled across the fantastic looking "Koploper" units on the NS rail network. (A bit slow, i know, seeing as they have been in operation since the early 80's but better late than never, i guess !!).

I am hoping to venture over to the Netherlands for a few days and "Bash" these units as soon as covid 19 rules are eventually relaxed. I see they work the Rotterdam C - Leeuwarden/Groningen services but can anybody advise me if they work on other fixed routes or will i find them operating all over the NS InterCity network ??.

Any info would be gratefully recieved.

Tel
 
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High Dyke

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Hi guys. My 1st entry on here so apologies if this has been asked before ......

I have just stumbled across the fantastic looking "Koploper" units on the NS rail network. (A bit slow, i know, seeing as they have been in operation since the early 80's but better late than never, i guess !!).

I am hoping to venture over to the Netherlands for a few days and "Bash" these units as soon as covid 19 rules are eventually relaxed. I see they work the Rotterdam C - Leeuwarden/Groningen services but can anybody advise me if they work on other fixed routes or will i find them operating all over the NS InterCity network ??.

Any info would be gratefully recieved.

Tel
Not certain if this list is up to date.

 

biko

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They currently work:
Rotterdam - Utrecht - Leeuwarden/Groningen
The Hague - Amsterdam Zuid - Leeuwarden / Groningen
Schiphol Airport / The Hague - Enschede

But I should note workings have changed because the DDZ double deckers have some major problem and cannot be used for some time. Normally you would also find them on the line between Zwolle and Roosendaal, but that changed recently but I don’t know if that’s permanent.

On rijdendetreinen.nl you can find the allocated units in the near future, so I would suggest having a look at it when your visit is possible
 

slammerTel

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Not certain if this list is up to date.

Many thanks for that High dyke:D
Not certain if this list is up to date.


They currently work:
Rotterdam - Utrecht - Leeuwarden/Groningen
The Hague - Amsterdam Zuid - Leeuwarden / Groningen
Schiphol Airport / The Hague - Enschede

But I should note workings have changed because the DDZ double deckers have some major problem and cannot be used for some time. Normally you would also find them on the line between Zwolle and Roosendaal, but that changed recently but I don’t know if that’s permanent.

On rijdendetreinen.nl you can find the allocated units in the near future, so I would suggest having a look at it when your visit is possible
Cheers biko. That info is most helpful. Hopefully it will not change too much in the distant future :D
 

StephenHunter

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The NS app also provides unit information on all its services, so you can tell whether the running service is a Koploper.
 

Richard Scott

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Hi guys. My 1st entry on here so apologies if this has been asked before ......

I have just stumbled across the fantastic looking "Koploper" units on the NS rail network. (A bit slow, i know, seeing as they have been in operation since the early 80's but better late than never, i guess !!).

I am hoping to venture over to the Netherlands for a few days and "Bash" these units as soon as covid 19 rules are eventually relaxed. I see they work the Rotterdam C - Leeuwarden/Groningen services but can anybody advise me if they work on other fixed routes or will i find them operating all over the NS InterCity network ??.

Any info would be gratefully recieved.

Tel
Usually find plenty working through Utrecht, that's where I've always picked them up.
 

biko

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Overijssel, the Netherlands
I forgot to add another website which also has diagrams: https://en.treinposities.nl/omlopen. I don’t know exactly how that site creates them but I believe it extracts them from open data. For Koploper diagrams, scroll down to ICM-3 and ICM-4 (3 car and 4 car versions). Another page on the site also shows deviations to the planning and unusual traction for a given route.
 

StephenHunter

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I forgot to add another website which also has diagrams: https://en.treinposities.nl/omlopen. I don’t know exactly how that site creates them but I believe it extracts them from open data. For Koploper diagrams, scroll down to ICM-3 and ICM-4 (3 car and 4 car versions). Another page on the site also shows deviations to the planning and unusual traction for a given route.

Nice. I'll share that on my gen group.
 

DanielB

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Amersfoort, NL
They currently work:
Rotterdam - Utrecht - Leeuwarden/Groningen
The Hague - Amsterdam Zuid - Leeuwarden / Groningen
Schiphol Airport / The Hague - Enschede
You're forgetting (Deventer -) Amersfoort Centraal - Amsterdam Centraal as well as the shortest IC-service in the country: Almere Centrum - Amsterdam Centraal.

And of course the additional services in between the above: Rotterdam C. - Utrecht C. and (Deventer -) Amersfoort C. - Utrecht C - The Hague C., although those are currently suspended due to the limited number of passengers.

Finally ICM is also used for the IC Dordrecht - Eindhoven, although working days only and just four trains in each direction per day.
 

biko

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You're forgetting (Deventer -) Amersfoort Centraal - Amsterdam Centraal as well as the shortest IC-service in the country: Almere Centrum - Amsterdam Centraal.

And of course the additional services in between the above: Rotterdam C. - Utrecht C. and (Deventer -) Amersfoort C. - Utrecht C - The Hague C., although those are currently suspended due to the limited number of passengers.

Finally ICM is also used for the IC Dordrecht - Eindhoven, although working days only and just four trains in each direction per day.
Indeed, I forgot the services from Amsterdam Centraal, but isn’t the Amsterdam - Almere one suspended too at the moment?

And I also meant the short workings, but indeed that could have been clearer
 

STINT47

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These units are strange in that the driver sits so high but I have never seen the doors between units open. Makes me wonder why they used this design if they never take advantage of it?
 

Speed43125

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Dunblane
These units are strange in that the driver sits so high but I have never seen the doors between units open. Makes me wonder why they used this design if they never take advantage of it?
I understand the interunit gangway facilities were removed several years ago, and IIRC the cab was actually made a little lower given it no longer had to sit above a corridor.
 
Last edited:

DanielB

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Correct, the gangways facilities were completely removed during the midlife revision which started in 2006. Prior to revision the system had already been disabled as of autumn 2005, it was said that this was due to the limited usage by passengers. The corridor itself however is still present behind the door to the drivers cab, but leads to nowhere now.

Indeed, I forgot the services from Amsterdam Centraal, but isn’t the Amsterdam - Almere one suspended too at the moment?
Amsterdam - Almere has been suspended two weeks following the rolling stock shortage due to the snowstorm, but appears in the timetable again as of next week (according to treinposities.nl)
 

slammerTel

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Thanks for all your info guys. It's helped me to plan some sort of itinery to see and ride these lovely trains. Just got to wait for the all clear now for travel from GB to NL !!
 
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Richard Scott

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Thanks for all your info guys. It's helped me to plan some sort of itinery to see and ride these lovely trains. Just got to wait for the all clear now for travel from GB to NL !!

I do have another question but I don't want it to come across sounding rude or ignorant so here goes...... Would being a rail enthusiast who only speaks English make it difficult or confusing understanding the NS rail network. ie, reading timetables or grasping the station/Train announcements for example. I've never travelled by train overseas before so when this is able to happen it would put my mind at ease.
NS is easy to navigate, have screens at stations and English is widely spoken. You'll understand some Dutch as a few words very similar to English including some numbers so may understand some station announcements. I've been many times, well worth it. Also some loco haulage on Amsterdam to Breda and Amsterdam to Brussels, but mandatory supplement payable between Schiphol airport and Rotterdam, easy to avoid that section. Also Amsterdam to Berlin trains still have 1700s, although think some may now be Vectron hauled. These use German IC stock and so have a buffet! Will find buffets on most stations too, never had a language issue there either.
 

slammerTel

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I do have another question but I don't want it to come across sounding rude or ignorant so here goes...... Would being a rail enthusiast who only speaks English make it difficult or confusing understanding the NS rail network. ie, reading timetables or grasping the station/Train announcements for example. I've never travelled by train overseas before so when this is able to happen it would put my mind at ease
 

Richard Scott

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I do have another question but I don't want it to come across sounding rude or ignorant so here goes...... Would being a rail enthusiast who only speaks English make it difficult or confusing understanding the NS rail network. ie, reading timetables or grasping the station/Train announcements for example. I've never travelled by train overseas before so when this is able to happen it would put my mind at ease
Not sure why my answer has appeared above your question but put some info there for you, just look at post above yours.
 

slammerTel

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Not sure why my answer has appeared above your question but put some info there for you, just look at post above yours.
Thank you Richard Scott. All this info is very much appreciated. Especially as this "European rail virgin" is also planning to hop over the border to Germany, to Wuppertal in fact, to sample the schwebebahn on one day
 

AlexNL

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I understand the interunit gangway facilities were removed several years ago, and IIRC the cab was actually made a little lower given it no longer had to sit above a corridor.
The cab itself remained where it always has been, moving that would mean rebuilding the entire vehicle end. The drivers I've spoken to quite like the high seated position as it gives them an amazing view, although it does become a little bit more difficult to see ground position signals ("dwarf signals" in Dutch railway jargon).

The space where the gangway once used to be has been repurposed, I believe it now houses an air tank as well as some of the equipment for the on-board WiFi and realtime passenger information systems.

I do have another question but I don't want it to come across sounding rude or ignorant so here goes...... Would being a rail enthusiast who only speaks English make it difficult or confusing understanding the NS rail network. ie, reading timetables or grasping the station/Train announcements for example. I've never travelled by train overseas before so when this is able to happen it would put my mind at ease
It's pretty easy, I think.

The format of timetables on platforms (the yellow boards) is very straightforward, you look for your destination and you then look for your departure time. There's very little Dutch used on the departure boards. Do keep in mind that NS currently operate to a covid timetable, so the fixed boards may be a little out of date. NS themselves recommend to use their app or to use www.ns.nl to plan your journey as that's more up to date - and is fully available in English.

On stations themselves, ticket machines can be switched to English. Displays on the concourse and on platforms give information in Dutch as well as English. Audio announcements are usually in Dutch only, but under normal circumstances you'll see that all information which is read out by the Digital Doris is also represented on the screens. When the brown stuff touches the air circulation device, and should you be lost, then you should be able to just ask someone - almost everyone in the Netherlands speaks English at a very decent level.
 

Richard Scott

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Thank you Richard Scott. All this info is very much appreciated. Especially as this "European rail virgin" is also planning to hop over the border to Germany, to Wuppertal in fact, to sample the schwebebahn on one day
Germany easy too, can get local tickets cheaply for use on regional trains, ticket machines can do multiple languages. If don't want hassle of tickets get an interrail. May work out a little more expensive but peace of mind as always have the ticket and can change your mind at drop of a hat. If going to Wuppertal would recommend staying in Düsseldorf, hotels usually cheap there and station very busy train wise.
 

slammerTel

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Germany easy too, can get local tickets cheaply for use on regional trains, ticket machines can do multiple languages. If don't want hassle of tickets get an interrail. May work out a little more expensive but peace of mind as always have the ticket and can change your mind at drop of a hat. If going to Wuppertal would recommend staying in Düsseldorf, hotels usually cheap there and station very busy train wise.
Again, thank you for the info. I work for a TOC so can obtain cheap tickets via my FIP card or even a few free international rail coupons !!. Was looking into Heerenveen as a base, (found a nice bzb that backs on to the Zwolle-Leewarden line so 100% Koploper action there :lol:)
 

Richard Scott

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Again, thank you for the info. I work for a TOC so can obtain cheap tickets via my FIP card or even a few free international rail coupons !!. Was looking into Heerenveen as a base, (found a nice bzb that backs on to the Zwolle-Leewarden line so 100% Koploper action there :lol:)
No problem. Free rail coupons would do it! If want any more info just ask, always worth finding things out before you go to save wasted time or missing something you wish you'd known about and could have seen.
 

DanielB

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Again, thank you for the info. I work for a TOC so can obtain cheap tickets via my FIP card or even a few free international rail coupons !!. Was looking into Heerenveen as a base, (found a nice bzb that backs on to the Zwolle-Leewarden line so 100% Koploper action there :lol:)
Not 100%, but still a lot. I'm not completely aware of the current situation, but Zwolle - Leeuwarden also had some trains with DDZ in between the Koplopers. However DDZ is currently not in service due to technical issues and I believe it was partially also replaced by Koplopers (besides VIRM).

The only thing that might be harder to understand on the Dutch departure screens is that they've forgotten to translate some of the reasons for a disruption. But all other information at the platform displays is usually in Dutch and English as AlexNL already mentioned.
 

MisterT

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Just to add a little video from the old coupling process:


It was fully automatic, but, as said above, too unreliable to be used when coupling up or splitting along the way. There are some Japanese units that look very similar, but they do the whole coupling process manually, which takes a lot more time and personnel obviously.
 

StephenHunter

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NS is easy to navigate, have screens at stations and English is widely spoken. You'll understand some Dutch as a few words very similar to English including some numbers so may understand some station announcements. I've been many times, well worth it. Also some loco haulage on Amsterdam to Breda and Amsterdam to Brussels, but mandatory supplement payable between Schiphol airport and Rotterdam, easy to avoid that section. Also Amsterdam to Berlin trains still have 1700s, although think some may now be Vectron hauled. These use German IC stock and so have a buffet! Will find buffets on most stations too, never had a language issue there either.
There's also the Innsbruck/Vienna Nightjet, due to start on 25 March at present.
 

100andthirty

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I had the privilege of visiting the factory where these trains were made with an organised tour in 1982. The coupling system was demonstrated to us in the factory. Sadly I didn't take any photos and I think MisterT for posting the video.
 

driver9000

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I do have another question but I don't want it to come across sounding rude or ignorant so here goes...... Would being a rail enthusiast who only speaks English make it difficult or confusing understanding the NS rail network. ie, reading timetables or grasping the station/Train announcements for example. I've never travelled by train overseas before so when this is able to happen it would put my mind at ease

Absolutely not. I had no problems travelling around The Netherlands and barely speak a word of Dutch. Most speak excellent English over there too. I found on most trains I travelled on repeated on board announcements in English especially around Amsterdam. It's a very easy network to navigate, relatively cheap and the NS app is really good, plus it was updated not too long ago and now shows the unit numbers allocated to each service. If only they had that last time I was there I wouldn't have any gaps in my notes! I see you mention you are rail staff so apply for your FIP card and travel coupons before you go.
 

slammerTel

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Absolutely not. I had no problems travelling around The Netherlands and barely speak a word of Dutch. Most speak excellent English over there too. I found on most trains I travelled on repeated on board announcements in English especially around Amsterdam. It's a very easy network to navigate, relatively cheap and the NS app is really good, plus it was updated not too long ago and now shows the unit numbers allocated to each service. If only they had that last time I was there I wouldn't have any gaps in my notes! I see you mention you are rail staff so apply for your FIP card and travel coupons before you go.
Cheers driver9000. I've only just stumbled across the koploper units on you tube. They look and sound great. Been on the railway for 16 odd years and never even considered travel abroad until now !!. The UK rail scene is becoming very mundane with all the great trains all coming to an end. (I'm a big EMU fan) so to find these units was a great find. Now I just need a certain pandemic to bugger off, then it'll be all systems go :p:D:D
 

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