Existing infrastructure was regenerated to meet current society needs. RandstadRail’s planning, design and operation enhance image and brand of the Netherlands as innovative and creative nation. Light rail becomes a successful export product.


Prime domain(s)
Rail, Planning


Prime theme(s)
Sensitivity for governance, Lifecycle efficiency


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


Related showcases
Rotterdam Centraal, Den Haag Centraal, Stedenbaan, Butterfly


Lead partner
RVDB Urban Planning/ (


Second contact
Metropoolregio Rotterdam Den Haag


Extended summary
RandstadRail (Dutch product name) is a clear example of an innovative light rail system (regiotram or tram-train) innovation. In The Hague RandstadRail uses parts of the urban tram network and it uses a former regional rail line, the Zoetermeerlijn. In Rotterdam RandstadRail uses a part of the metro network and it uses another former regional rail line, the Hofpleinlijn. In fact RandstadRail combines two variations, marketed as one: The Hague version of the RandstadRail and the Rotterdam version. The Hague’s RandstadRail uses low floor vehicles. The Rotterdam RandstadRail uses high floor vehicles. Both versions of RandstadRail share five stations in the municipalities The Hague and Leidschendam-Voorburg. These station are utilised with both low and high platforms.
(Source: Intereg IIIC, Connected Cities; adapted by DRS)


Form (description)
Urban-regional light rail system elaborated as two overlapping operations, hence, combined track-section for tram-style and metro-style light rail vehicles, respectively low and high platforms in adjacent positions.
The former railway line is renewed with three types of switches and crossings to facilitate the different tram and metro wheels.


Operation (usage)
Rail-based public transport, regional connectivity and accessibility. Two operators / infrastructure providers, commissioned by regional government (Metropoolregio Rotterdam Den Haag).


Performance (result)
Boosting public transport, growing number of users. Transit Oriented Development around various stations with nearby centres and districts along the line.
Positive image of public transport due to Iconic viaduct in The Hague (Beatrixlaan), enheanced by the brand name ‘RandstadRail’.




Backgrounds: RandstadRail is the light rail showcase of the Netherlands.
References: Dr. ir. Niels van Oort, Delft University of Technology / Goudappel Coffeng, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Delft, The Netherlands; Light rail implementation: success and failure aspects of Dutch light rail projects. Prepared for the 94th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board 2015.
Precedents: Cologne-Bonn (Germany), Karlsruhe (Germany), Mulhouse (France), Saarbahn (Germany).
Foreign potentials: next generation regional light rail systems in Africa, Asia, Australia and America.
Related projects and pilots: Aarhus (Denmark), Utrecht Uithoflijn (Netherlands).






Image credits
Zwarts & Jansma Architects
RVDB Urban Planning/


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