Train station gates closed from August

An NS train waiting on the tracks (Photo: TahR78/Wikipedia)
An NS train waiting on the tracks (Photo: TahR78/Wikipedia). (An NS train waiting on the tracks (Photo: TahR78/Wikipedia))

Train stations in The Netherlands will start keeping entry gates closed at busy stations in phases. The first phase will begin in August for Woerden, Rotterdam Alexander, Almere center and Enschede, which are the cities in which the testing for ov-chip cards to replace train tickets has been successful.

These Dutch Rail (NS) stations will only be accessible with an ov-card or a paper ticket fitted with a chip. Over a period of two years, 82 NS stations in total will put these gates into use. In 2014, 26 stations will close their gates, and 27 each in 2015 and 2016.

There are more than 400 stations spread around The Netherlands. The 82 stations at which the gates will only open for ov-cards are the busiest stations where 90 percent of the train passengers will get on or off the train. The other stations will not have these closed gates, and people will be able to get onto the platform without an ov-card.

"We only wanted to place gates at the stations where the biggest passenger stream displaces itself", an NS spokesperson says. The gates are meant to increase security and prevent fare evasion.

Coalition parties VVD and PvdA announced in March that not all stations should be closed off for people without valid proof of travel, which is an issue that the NS will discuss with municipalities. It could be that non-travelers could be granted access with a temporary free pass. Workers at stations will also have permanent free access to the stations.