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System map
Trajectory of the HSL-Zuid
Locale Netherlands
Dates of operation 7 September 2009–
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in)
Electrification 25 kV AC, 50 Hz
Length 125 km

HSL-Zuid (Dutch: Hogesnelheidslijn Zuid, English: High-Speed Line South), is a 125 km-long high-speed railway line between the Netherlands and Belgium. Together with the Belgian HSL 4 it forms the Schiphol - Antwerp High-Speed Line. Originally scheduled to be in service by 2007, the first public operations began on September 7 2009, after a ceremony on September 6.[1]

Limited Fyra service between Amsterdam and Rotterdam began with conventional carriages and rented TRAXX locomotives, but it is hoped that from December 2010 the Fyra service will employ V250 trains and will be extended to The Hague, Breda, Antwerp and Brussels. Delivery of the V250 by its maker AnsaldoBreda has been delayed several times. Fyra is a service of NS Hispeed, a subsidiary of Nederlandse Spoorwegen and KLM, and NMBS.[2]

On 13 December 2009, Thalys began services from Amsterdam to Paris and Brussels on the HSL-Zuid.

Rijkswaterstaat, an agency of the Dutch Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management, is responsible for the organization of the project. The government awarded the largest ever public-private partnership (PPP) contract to the consortium Infraspeed until 2030; it is responsible for design, construction, financing and maintenance. The line will feature state-of-the-art technology, including ETCS level 2 train control systems provided by Siemens AG and Alcatel (activities now part of Thales), and will be a ERTMS 2.3.0 Corridor.



Track near Lage Zwaluwe.
Rail tunnel under the Dordtsche Kil

Between Amsterdam and Schiphol, high speed trains operate on the existing line.

South of Schiphol the dedicated high speed tracks begin, parallelling the existing railway line until Nieuw-Vennep. The line then branches off eastwards, continuing along the west side of Roelofarendsveen and Hoogmade and entering a tunnel east of Leiderdorp. This tunnel was built to protect the character of the Groene Hart region. North of Zoetermeer the train line leaves the tunnel west of Hazerswoude-Dorp; it subsequently passes to the east of Benthuizen, and on an elevated track east of Zoetermeer, then back on the surface between Berkel en Rodenrijs and Bergschenhoek, and after a tunnel, joins the existing line again north of Rotterdam.

Trains run briefly on existing tracks for a few kilometres before entering the high speed line again. At Barendrecht the two tracks cross each other and the trains begin left-hand running as in Belgium, France and the UK. From here the line runs next to the existing railway as well as the Betuweroute, continuing through the Hoekse Waard area, bypassing Dordrecht. South of Dordrecht, the line runs next to the A16 motorway with a branch spurring off to the city of Breda. South of Breda, the line again follows the motorway towards Antwerp in northern Belgium. At the Belgian border, it connects to HSL 4, which carries on to Antwerp, with an existing line from Antwerp to Brussels.

Travel times

The new line is expected to shorten travel times for international and domestic services.

  • Amsterdam-Rotterdam, 62 km, 0:43 (currently 0:58)
  • Amsterdam-Breda, 105 km, 0:59 (currently 1:44)
  • Amsterdam-Antwerp, 152 km, 1:10 (currently 2:00)
  • Amsterdam-Brussels, 199 km, 1:44 (currently 2:40)
  • Amsterdam-Paris, 492 km, 3:13 (currently 4:11)[3]
  • The Hague-Brussels 1:44 (currently 2:17)
  • Breda-Brussels 0:59 (currently 1:44)

But from Roosendaal the travel times will be longer:

  • Roosendaal-Brussels 1:16 (not including the change of trains in Breda) (currently 1:08)


The fares for the route Amsterdam–Rotterdam, which is opened first, have been announced: they are the regular train fares (where the existing rail passes and the Off-Peak Discount Pass are valid) plus a surcharge of about 60% of the full standard fare. During the first four weeks after opening the surcharge is only €2 one way for the full route. Discounts are also available for tickets booked in advance for some off-peak hours.


The following services are planned for the HSL-Zuid:

  • 1 train per hour: Amsterdam Centraal – Schiphol – Rotterdam Centraal – Antwerpen Centraal – Brussel South – Paris North (Thalys)
  • 1 train per hour: Amsterdam Centraal – Schiphol – Rotterdam Centraal – Antwerpen Centraal – Brussels South
  • 2 train per hour: Amsterdam Centraal – Schiphol – Rotterdam Centraal – Breda
  • 2 train per hour: Amsterdam Centraal – Schiphol – Rotterdam Centraal
  • 8 trains per day: Den Haag Centraal – Rotterdam Centraal – Breda – Noorderkempen – Antwerpen Centraal – Mechelen – Brussels Central – Brussels South
  • 1 train per hour: Noorderkempen – Antwerpen Luchtbal – Antwerpen Centraal

The shuttle services between Amsterdam and Brussels will be branded by the High Speed Alliance as Fyra. Temporary trains will be used until the V250 sets are operable. The service from Amsterdam to Paris will continue to be covered by Thalys.

See also


External links

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