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With nearly 3,000 route kilometers of railways Holland has by no means the largest network in Europe. At first sight the uniform appearance of much of its rolling stock and the level nature of the country indicate that the system holds little of interest but that assessment is completely wrong. Whist freight tonnage has been in gradual decline during the first years of the nineties passenger numbers have been on the increase. Older items of rolling stock have therefore been kept in service even though new locomotives and coaches have arrived in considerable numbers.

This survey of the railways of Holland begins in the south west corner and proceeds in a loose clockwise circle taking in the main centers of population and most of the railway routes in-between. Whilst centers such as Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Zwolle and Utrecht are given full treatment there are also bulb fields, windmills, canals, lifting bridges and scenery in abundance.

International trains are always a source of fascination and there is no shortage of them in this program. The sparkling Etoile du Nord with its stainless steel TEE coaches, the wonderful Rembrandt, the Holland Italie Express – the list goes on and on. There is freight on the move as well; the triple headed ore train to Venlo, Interfrigo workings on the Bentheimer Eisebahn extension and, of course, the compost train – to name a few.