Professional, responsive and emphatic human presence (e.g. conductors on the train), backed by hardware (e.g. design, CCTV, gates) enhances levels of safety and service.


Prime domain(s)
Rail, Mobility, Planning


Prime theme(s)
Governance, Urban mobility hubs


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


Related showcases


Lead partner


Second contact


Extended summary
Personal safety and service come first for Dutch Railways (NS 2014). NS co-operates in this regard with all relevant stake holders, particularly with police (besides, there is no dedicated railway police in the Netherlands) and furthermore with other public transport operators, labour unions, ministry of Justice. Urban planning, architecture, design and technology of urban mobility hubs optimize conditions for safety and service.


Form (description)
Conductors on the train and staff in stations are in charge for safety and service. Dedicated ‘personal safety and service’ teams support regular employees. Moreover many stations are equipped with gates. Additionally some trains are equipped with CCTV.


Operation (usage)
Conductors and other staff are visible and serve as contact for the public. They control tickets and provide requested information. They also prevent misbehaviour. Gates in stations regulate access to platforms, hence to trains.


Performance (result)
Overall travellers appreciate safety and service by conductors. According Dutch Railways levels of personal safety are adequate. Many travellers judge personal safety higher than 7 (on a scale of 0-10): 79,5% in 2013, 80,2% in 2014 (NS, 2014). Even for the evening these figures are very good: 61,2% (2013), 62,8% (2014). Fare evasion is reduced since gates are in operation.




“I’m Bram …” ( is the name of the blog of Senior Conductor Bram (Groningen, Netherlands) who triggers all that is needed for safety and service. His blog clearly proves his professional, responsive and emphatic attitude. DRS loves his interviews, like the one with Marjan (August 2015). She prepared cupcakes for train crews and other railway staff. Bram interviewed her when she was distributing her cupcakes at a station. She explained that she wanted to make a nice gesture because all railway employees do a great job, despite the risk being accused, threatened and even become victim of violence. “They deserve something sweet”. Hence, almost all images of people in trains and stations at this page are from
In the Netherlands personal safety in public transportation (aggression, violence, crime, nuisance, incivilities and anti-social behaviour) is a topic that has ranked high on the political agenda for some time now. Public safety in railway stations and trains also received significant attention, and a great deal of work was done through a collaborative effort on the part of the Ministries of Infrastructure and the Environment, of the Interior, and of Security and Justice, Dutch railways and infrastructure manager ProRail and the labour unions.
March 2015 a train conductor was the victim of a serious violent incident, which led to the adoption of additional measures. These measures went beyond those introduced earlier and often aimed to speed up the implementation process.
(Source: DSP Group, Amsterdam, adapted by DRS)
DSP Group summarized eight measures:
1. Extra support aboard the train on high-risk routes and during high-risk periods (doubled staffing).
2. Increased camera surveillance in stations & trial use of video monitors (live in public showing CCTV footage).
3. Camera surveillance on trains.
4. Accelerated introduction of electronic card-activated access gates.
5. Intensified cooperation between NS and the police.
6. Accelerated introduction of station ban.
7. A zero tolerance approach for violations.
8. Greater attention to care and assistance for troublemakers
So far DSP Group concluded: “No clear trend can be detected in the various indicators of objective safety in the period under consideration (2014–2015). There is a decrease in the number of acts of physical aggression and violence against staff (especially on trains). In this connection, we note that it was also the act of physical aggression against a conductor that initially led to the development of the package of measures. It looks like there is a decrease in the number of instances of fare-dodging. On the other hand, there also seems to be an increase in the number of incidents of verbal aggression (especially in stations), incivilities (especially on trains, particularly on the part of beggars, musicians and vagrants) and theft/pickpocketing and vandalism. … Considering the recently initiated and as yet incomplete implementation of the package of measures, it is still too early to draw conclusions concerning the effectiveness of these measures on the basis of concrete figures. This quickscan provides a good picture of the initial results of the package of measures. However, the measures operate in concert, reinforcing each other as well as other existing measures, which makes it difficult to determine the effect of each measure individually. Additionally, the measures apply nationwide, making it impossible to compare the situation with areas where the measure has not yet been introduced.
On this basis of this quickscan we suppose that in theory the eight measures could be effective, provided that they meet a few conditions, as stated in the report, and are properly implemented. That is still not the case with many of the measures. A positive exception to this is the expedited introduction of electronic card-activated access gates. This is the measure that is expected to have the greatest effect.
To gain insight into the effects of the package of measures, it is important to continue monitoring the implementation and results of the measures.
With the adoption of the package of measures an important signal was given to the general population, offenders and stakeholder organisations. The package has demonstrably helped to prioritise and expedite various issues. The outcomes of this quickscan can make a further contribution to a targeted introduction of the package of measures and to identifying and prioritising personal safety on and around the railway. In this way the results provide leads for further policy development, contributing to efforts to address and prevent personal safety issues in stations and trains.”
(Quote from: Sociale veiligheid op het spoor, May 20, 2016) summarized for DRS various topics that support safety and security in railway and station environments.
‘Hardware’ (technology, design, architecture, urban planning):
– High quality stations, trains and facilities (see other DRS showcases),
– Gates and CCTV (at many stations),
– Public Transport Smart Card (national system; see showcase)
‘Software’ (ideas, principles, concepts)
– CPTED: Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design,
– Educational packages,
– Checklists personal safety,
– Precedents safety and service.
‘Orgware’ (institutional context, organisations, actors, agents):
– Laws and rules (e.g. conductors are also ‘special investigating officers’, BOA),
– User-orientation, customer satisfaction monitoring (e.g. OV Barometer),
– Organisation and co-operation (e.g. with police).


. DSP Groep, Sociale veiligheid op het spoor, May 20, 2016 (Summary in English, Personal safety in stations and trains).
. TNS Nipo, De conducteur op de trein…en het gevoel van sociale veiligheid bij de treinreiziger, 2004.


. RET, Rotterdam, Netherlands, Roving conductors on the tram.
. East Japan Railway Company (e.g. their ‘Comprehensive Training System’).


Foreign potentials
Public transport worldwide.


Related projects and pilots
Abellio UK train operation concessions.




Other media
None yet.


Image credits (Bram / Groningen HC),Bianca Beerendonk Blog,, RVDB Urban Planning /


Safety and service