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Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Den Haag (The Hague), Netherlands

The capital city of the Netherlands, at least by constitution, is Amsterdam.  However, Amsterdam is not the seat of the Dutch Government.  That honour belongs to The Hague (Den Haag or 's-Gravenhage in Dutch), a city which also hosts the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court.

Public transport in The Hague is co-ordinated by HTM.  The tram network extends to the neighbouring town of Delft, famed for its pottery.
























Trams and buses run through the pedstrianised area in the heart of the city.



 














 

















Typical of HTM's bus fleet, used on city services, are these three-door single-deckers.

Longer bus routes into nearby towns are provided by Veolia (website in Dutch language only), typified by these two-door single-deck vehicles.

 

 








The suburban rail line between The Hague and nearby Zoetermeer has been converted to tram-train operation.  Services on this route are branded as RandstadRail.  In The Hague, the Zoetermeer services make use of a newly-built segregated alignment, crossing Centraal Station on a high-level alignment before descending into tunnel to pass beneath the city centre.  


In this image, a Randstad Rail on the high-level alignment passes above a tram on the more traditional tracks outside Centraal Station.









 

 
HTM tram line 6 also makes use of the RandstadRail alignment.

 









Meanwhile, to the south-west of the city centre, RandstadRail services use existing on-street tram infrastructure.

 





The Randstad Rail brand is also used for tram-trains operating on railway infrastructure between The Hague and Rotterdam, however the Rotterdam services terminate in Den Haag Central station, arriving there using the traditional railway lines.

Tickets for travel on buses or trams in The Hague can be paid for using cash.  Single fares are valid for either 30 or 60 minutes.  Transfer between buses and/or trams is permitted within the time of validity at no extra charge.  However, it is cheaper to use the electronic OV-Chipkaart.  The OV-Chipkaart is a national smartcard valid throughout the Netherlands on bus, tram, metro and domestic rail services.

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