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Let the train take the strain

On Saturday we decided on an impromptu visit to a market in Rotterdam.

The ideal way to get there was by public transport. Not using a car is an important green lifestyle choice. If it’s possible to get there without one it’s great.

The Dutch are highly dependent on good transport solutions. The country is densely populated and the urban area are subject to congestion. Obviously the country works hard to create cycling infrastructure but the bike network also connects to other forms of travel.

To get to the Rotterdam park hosting this market, we started with a bus at the end of the road.

Then we left the tram and transferred to the metro.

A clever Dutch innovation strikes you.

This station is above street level. It’s served by a ramp and a lift to give disabled and buggy access. The buses run on the road below.

But look carefully at the picture and you might notice something.

Here’s another clue.


You may see that the doors of this carriage are below the level of the platform. The man on the platform can almost look over the carriage.

It’s odd.

Aha! This isn’t a metro train its a tram. The team section of this station is further along.


The resident chef choose to illustrate this by standing on the lower platform. Trams stop down there and the metro trains stop at the top level.

This way the station is shared making it possible to overlap two different networks without extra space which would have been almost impossible to add in this and several other locations like this one.


The tram and train times are now shown on a live display together. There’s an automatic digital payment system which works on both tram and metro.

Very smart town planning.

Are there clever public transport solutions in your country?


15 comments on “Let the train take the strain

  1. Uncle Spike
    December 16, 2014

    Such a simple, yet elegant solution 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Grower
    December 16, 2014

    Our government is owned by oil companies so mass transit is fought like a plague.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. TheDigger
    December 16, 2014

    I live in the UK quite close to a city that was voted ‘most dependent on cars’ recently- we SUCK at public transport outside the major cities. We have so much to learn from the Dutch. I miss Rotterdam, I haven’t been there for years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lizard100
      December 16, 2014

      Thats terrible. Its often much harder in the UK


  4. BerLinda
    December 16, 2014

    Clever Dutch people 🙂 Transport in Berlin is fantastic as well – and inexpensive. There’s no excuse for using a car in the city centre.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lizard100
      December 16, 2014

      Here its almost impossible to have a car in central areas. The waiting lists for parking are years but you need to own the car while you wait.

      Liked by 1 person

      • BerLinda
        December 16, 2014

        And I think both places are very well geared for cycling!


  5. jpeggytaylor
    December 16, 2014

    Despite living out of town, we use public transport all of the time … unless we are walking, of course 😉 Our nearest urban area has the Tyneside Metro, which is a rapid transit system, a bit like your tram system. This links up with intercity trains and local bus services. With a bit of planning, we find that we can catch buses or the Metro to wherever we want to go. There is more being done to encourage cycling in our region now too, which is good. A lot of branch line railways were closed down in the 1960s and now many of them have become long distance footpaths and cycleways.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. starproms
    December 16, 2014

    Ours is ok but busy on the line most used near me I.e. Bedford to London. I don’t like the gaps I have to step over!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. tootlepedal
    December 16, 2014

    We have a good bus service to our nearest large towns so we can’t complain.

    Liked by 1 person

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a blog by a multilingual expat-since-birth, linguist, researcher, mum of three, living in the Netherlands and writing about bilingualism, multiculturalism, parenting abroad, international life...

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