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The profile of NS

During Children’s Book Week, NS guards, train drivers and safety and service employees read to primary school children throughout the Netherlands.

NS provides a broad range of services that go beyond train services. Each and every day, some 32,000 colleagues in the Netherlands and abroad are fully committed to providing the best possible passenger services. Together with our partners in public transport, we continuously work to further improve our service and performance levels.

NS in the Netherlands and Europe

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. The company still plays a very significant social role in its domestic market. Since 2002, NS subsidiary Abellio has provided rail transport in parts of the United Kingdom and bus services in London. NS expects to terminate these operations in the first half of 2023 and has already obtained the requisite approvals. We have provided regional rail transport in Germany since 2009. In addition, we provide international rail connections through our partners Thalys, Eurostar, Deutsche Bahn, ÖBB, SBB and NMBS.

Our organisation

NS consists of several business units, including NS Operations (approximately 12,900 staff, on average, in 2022), Commerce & Development (approx. 700) and NS Stations (approx. 2,900 including retail), plus central departments such as HR, Finance and IT (approx. 2,300). Abroad, NS has operations with Abellio UK (approx. 12,200 staff) and Abellio Germany (approx. 1,000).

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

Commerce & Development is a unit where colleagues design new timetables, think up train formulas, run the Customer Service department, 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 394 large and smaller stations and promotes area development initiatives around the stations. Together with ProRail, public authorities and carriers, NS Stations aims 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 (OV-fiets) and bicycle parking. In recent years, NS Stations has worked with ProRail and various municipalities to renovate large and small stations, with a focus on the need to ensure that stations offer a welcoming environment and 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 operates rail and bus franchises in the United Kingdom (Greater Anglia, Merseyrail, ScotRail, West Midlands, East Midlands, Abellio Bus). NS will probably transfer the franchises to the management of Abellio UK towards the end of February 2023. Abellio Germany exclusively operates rail franchises in regional rail markets in Lower Saxony, Sachsen-Anhalt and Thüringen. At the end of 2022, Abellio Germany operated three franchises in eight regions.

Organisation chart

Rail franchises in Europe

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