A main station that successfully integrated all modes of transport (e.g. cycling), in particular heavy rail and light rail modes. Like at other main stations in the Netherlands the (re)development is integrated in the surrounding area. Den Haag Centraal is an attractive and multi-functionally representative gateway to the city, seat of national government and international meeting point.


Prime domain(s)
Rail, Mobility, Planning


Prime theme(s)
Urban mobility hubs


Additional theme(s)
Users & Services, Design & Identity


Related showcases
RandstadRail, Holland Metropolis, Rotterdam Centraal, Arnhem Station, Spoorbeeld, Image of Rail (Spoorbeeld), Public Transport Smart Card


Lead partner
Leo Haring & DRS (temporary)


Second contact
None yet (future: DRS)


Extended summary
Den Haag Centraal is upgraded into a modern multi-modal terminal, an integrated hub where all the city’s public transport converge. Clarity of organization, transparency and four-sidedness were the guiding principles when designing the station concourse. Transparency was achieved by means of four glass facades and a roof of glass and steel. Heavy and light rail, trams and buses can all be observed at a glance from the concourse, which also has space for shops and other facilities.

Some 120 metres long, 96 metres wide and 22 metres high, the terminal building is to be entered from public space at three sides, and additionally at the elevated bus platform. Den Haag Centraal is one of six New Key Projects designated by the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment. The terminal is to be the throbbing heart of the new central area of The Hague, including transit oriented development.

Text: Benthem Crouwel Architects (adapted by DRS)


Form (description)
Den Haag Centraal is a comprehensive example of heavy rail and light rail within one multi-modal terminal. It’s a transport hub but also core of an urban centre. Besides the main station, car and cycling parkings Den Haag Centraal entails three light rail stations, one at grade (for local trams mainly) and two elevated structures serving RandstadRail (one of our other showcases), combined with an elevated bus station.


Operation (usage)
Den Haag Centraal facilitates various transport operations, besides national and regional trains, notably light rail and local public transport (bus, tram), bicycle and car parkings. Within the station various shops, facilities and amenities are operated, next to the main interior entrance of a renovated office building that marks Den Haag Centraal since 1973 as a terminal station for heavy rail.


Performance (result)
Den Haag Centraal contributes to the boost of public transport. The regional light rail services of RandstadRail turned out to be a massive success for both the low floor system to Zoetermeer and the high floor system to Rotterdam (at Rotterdam Centraal, yet one of our other showcases).




A short history & documentation of Den Haag Centraal (compiled by Leo Haring for DRS)
The former Den Haag Centraal (The Hague Central) station was opened in 1973. The station replaced an old terminus station built in the 19th century for railway lines to destinations in the eastern part of The Netherlands. The station was connected with the railway line Amsterdam – Rotterdam in order to provide services to northern and southern destinations as well.
The former station was already designed as a transport hub for the train and other modes of public transport. Stops for local tram and bus lines were situated at an elevated tramway and bus station due to spatial constraints at grade and to the new, more efficient route of some local tram lines through the nearby precinct (Bezuidenhout) north of the station. The station is located closely to the city centre. However, the station was poorly connected with these parts of The Hague.
In the 1980’s the municipality started the improvement of the city centre and Bezuidenhout with the master plan “The Hague New Centre” by building new offices, shops, residences with high densities and restaurants. This plan didn’t include the station area.
In the early 2000’s an increase of passenger demand was expected for The Hague Central. To cope with the expected demand the station needed to be retrofitted. The station also needed to be prepared for the new regional light rail system (see our showcase RandstadRail). At the same time it was necessary to better integrate the area around the station with the retrofitted city centre according to the master plan “The Hague New Centre”.
In 2003 the master plan “The Hague New Central” was established comprising the most important themes and conditions for urban planning regarding the redesign/reshaping of the Central Station and the surrounding area, the final chapter of “The Hague New Centre”. The plan comprised a new station for future transport developments, expansion of offices, modernized shops and new residences, working and leisure facilities. Currently the area is the most important office location in The Netherlands after Amsterdam Zuid-as.
The main station entails twelve platforms used by national intercity trains and regional commuter services to various destinations in the Randstad (see also the DRS-showcase Holland Metropolis).
The elevated bus station with ten platforms for city and regional buses on top of the roof of the railway station is currently being renovated. The accessibility and comfort will be improved. New waiting rooms for waiting passengers of city and regional buses and touring cars are under construction. Better protection against bad weather conditions at the platforms will be realized.
A newly designed roof will be built to make the bus station fit into the architecture of the new public transport hub.
A new terminus elevated for the high platform RandstadRail is on top of the bus platform outside the station hall and connected by elevators and escalators with the stops of train, bus and tram inside the station hall. The terminus architecture is based on the design of the “Netkous“, the construction of the RandstadRail light rail viaduct in the Beatrixlaan.
Two tram and light rail platforms and the track layout on top of the station were reconstructed including a tail-track in order to accommodate the regional bi-directional light rail vehicles to Zoetermeer.
Three tram platforms are located at grade in the Rijnstraat in front of one of the main entrances of the station hall in the Rijnstraat.
The renovated Den Haag Centraal is an attractive station characterized by a beautiful design, combining aesthetic quality with smart, functional features. The redesigned terminus is brighter, more spacious and less cluttered than the former station.
The new station is a 120 m long, 96 m wide and 22 m high building, which can be entered through glass facades on all four sides. The building is designed so that trains, trams and buses can all be seen from the concourse at a glance. The new glass roof built over the station hall and supported on eight steel columns has an area equivalent to two football pitches, and incorporates 218 diamond-shaped elements each measuring 8 m by 12 m.
The station features an excellent accessibility with four main entrances. The successful layout meets not only the needs of the passengers and visitors who use the station’s facilities but also people walking from city centre to the Bezuidenhout area through the “Haagse Loper”, the renovated corridor for pedestrians between these areas. Most railway tracks were shortened in order to provide space for the corridor, shops and other facilities: signage, passenger information, service counters, ticket systems, safety and other essential factors.
The nearby environment of Den Haag Centraal includes a new square called Anna van Buerenplein, located between the station building, the New Babylon building complex and the new building of Leiden University (LUC). The square provides access to famous Hague institutions: National Archive, Royal Library, the Museum of Literature and parking garage Anna van Buerenplein.
The New Babylon building is a large completely renovated building complex in the area located between the Bezuidenhoutseweg and the Anna van Buerenplein next to the Central Station comprising offices, shops and apartments.
Located at the Anna van Buerenplein De Leiden University College The Hague (LUC) building was realized with rooms for students and bars and restaurants.
In the next few years the Koningin Julianaplein will be converted to a representative station square in front of the Stichthage office building, a green square with planting, seats and attractive walking routes to the city centre, New Babylon and the large green area Koekamp .
New buildings in front of Stichthage and along the Rijnstraat will comprise new residences.

Heavy and light rail:
Heavy rail Intercity destinations are: Amsterdam (via airport Schiphol), Enschede, Groningen, Leeuwarden, Utrecht Central, Rotterdam and Venlo.
Between 2006 and 2008 the regional train operation (Hofplein line to Rotterdam Hofplein and Sprinter line to Zoetermeer) was converted to light rail operation with the RandstadRail system. Due to the direct connections between The Hague and Zoetermeer less passengers need to transfer at Central Station.
Current Sprinter destinations are: Breda, Almere Oostvaarders, Gouda Goverwelle, Haarlem and Utrecht Central.
It is expected that in the next decade the number of passengers will increase significantly, due to the growing number of RandstadRail passengers and the future connection with the high speed line: intercity trains between Eindhoven and The Hague will be using the existing high speed line between Breda-Rotterdam-Amsterdam.
All the bus stops in the station area are located on the platform on top of the railway station. Currently bus operation from The Hague Central comprises:
6 city bus lines, including 2 night bus lines, operated by local public transport company
6 regional bus lines operated by regional bus companies
6 intercity bus lines operated by regional bus companies
The high floor light rail operated by RET is connecting The Hague Central with Rotterdam Central and many other destinations in the centre of Rotterdam and the fast urbanizing region between The Hague and Rotterdam with 8 trains an hour.
Currently two city tram lines and two RandstadRail light rail lines to Zoetermeer operated by HTM are using the elevated stops in the station with a very frequent services.
The city tram lines provide connections between The Hague south-west and north-eastern districts and outskirts of The Hague.
The RandstadRail lines provide services to the light rail network in Zoetermeer.
The three tram platforms located in the Rijnstraat are or three city tram lines connecting.

The municipality plans to increase the number of bicycle parking spots at different locations around Den Haag Centraal: The number of spots in the area on the Koningin Julianaplein will increase from 750 to 1.350. The guarded area under the station will be increased to 1.500. A new lock-up located under the Prins Bernardviaduct will provide 1.200 spots. The multiple storey lock-up will be expanded to 3.500. The plan is to increase the number of parking spots to 11.400 by 2020.


Station Centraal, 2010 – Link to Google books


Kuala Lumpur Sentral (Malaysia), Melbourne Central (Australia), Utrecht Centraal (Netherlands)


Foreign potentials
Station and main station projects in Europe and Asia (on the long run in America too).


Related projects and pilots
Central Station Tbilisi (Georgia), Main station Kaohsiung (Taiwan)




Other media
In preparation by DRS.


Image credits
Benthem Crouwel Architects
Zwarts & Jansma
RVDB Urban Planning


Den Haag Centraal