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The profile of NS

NS in the Netherlands and Europe

NS provides a broad range of services that go beyond train services. The focus in all our activities is on passengers, passengers and passengers. Our approximately 39,000 colleagues in the Netherlands and abroad work hard every day to achieve this. Together with our partners in public transport, we continuously work to further improve our service and performance levels.

Ever since NS was founded – in 1837, as NV Hollandsche IJzeren Spoorweg-Maatschappij (HIJSM) – we have been contributing to mobility and progress in the Netherlands, and the company still plays a very significant social role in its domestic market. Since 2002, NS subsidiary Abellio has been providing rail transport in parts of the United Kingdom and bus services in London, and since 2009 it has also been providing regional rail services in Germany. In addition, we provide international rail connections through our partners Thalys, Eurostar, Deutsche Bahn and NMBS.

Our organisation

NV Nederlandse Spoorwegen heads the group that includes the business units NS Operations (approximately 13,700 staff, on average, in 2020), Commerce & Development (approx. 700), NS Stations (approx. 3,100 including retail), Abellio UK (over 16,000), Abellio Germany (approx. 3,000) plus shared staff departments and central departments such as HR, Finance and IT.

NS Operations is responsible for rail transport on the Dutch main rail network, including HSL South. This is where the colleagues work who enable our trains to travel from A to B in the Netherlands and across the border. The train drivers, guards, mechanics and service staff, as well as the colleagues who, behind the screens, help implement our timetables and manage operations during unexpected events, are all part of NS Operations.

Commerce & Development is a unit where colleagues design new timetables, think up train formulas, run the Customer Service department, provide stakeholder management, launch marketing campaigns, carry out strategic innovative projects and make the company more sustainable. Commerce & Development is also responsible for ticket and season ticket sales and for NS International. In addition, it conducts appreciation surveys among passengers and identifies areas for improvement.

NS Stations works on a high-quality network of 400 large and smaller stations and promotes area development initiatives around the stations. Together with ProRail, public authorities and carriers, NS Stations seeks to make passenger journeys and the time spent in and around stations as convenient and pleasurable as possible. Stations are hubs for various forms of mobility, including public transport bicycles and bicycle parking. In recent years, NS Stations has worked with ProRail and various municipalities to renovate major stations, with a focus on the need to ensure that stations are ‘clean, intact and safe’. In collaboration with local authorities, citizens and social entrepreneurs, we seek effective integration of our facilities in the station environment. All activities are designed to improve the passenger experience of the station and the journey.

Abellio UK bids for and operates rail franchises in the United Kingdom (Greater Anglia, Merseyrail, ScotRail, West Midlands, East Midlands) and operates bus franchises in London. 

Abellio Germany bids for and operates rail franchises in the regional rail transport market only. In 2020, Abellio Germany operated nine franchises in four regions.

Organisation chart

Rail franchises in Europe

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