Amsterdam’s Airport; 100 Years of Schiphol

This year Schiphol Airport celebrates 100 years. Here’s a bird’s eye view of how it developed over that time created by the Stadsarchief (City Archive). It starts back in 1852 when the area was still a polder.


Overheard in Amsterdam #654

I was on a train at Amsterdam Centraal, heading east to Bijlmer. There had been some train delays and we were waiting to depart, there were a lot of “runners”, desperate to catch the train after the conductor had already blown his whistle.

Passenger 1

Does this train stop in Utrecht?


Yes, come aboard.

Passenger 2

Does this train go to Eindhoven?


Yes, jump on.

Passenger 3

Den Bosch?


Yes, yes, move down the carriage please.

(He then closed the doors and the train began to move).

Welcome aboard the 11.40 train to Zandvoort!

*For those not up on Dutch geography, Zandvoort is in the opposite direction.

Overheard on the Train

The trains here have silent carriages, marked with “Stilte/Silence” on the windows. In these carriages you’re supposed to be silent. No phone calls, minimal chat. Silent. It’s a rule that’s taken seriously, and there’s always someone in the carriage who will play policeman if you do chat. Which is what happened today.

On the train today a man from the UK answered his phone, and stayed on it chatting.

A Dutch man got up and pointed to the sign on the window that says silence.

UK man waved his hands and kept chatting.

This was repeated.

Then UK man got up and went to talk to Dutch man – still in the SILENT carriage. This was the exchange.

UK Man

Could I just explain, I’m here in the Netherlands researching what happened my family during the war and that’s what the calls were about.

Dutch Man

That’s fine; you need to take the calls out of this carriage.

Ferry Commuters – Amsterdam

Need to practise, but I like the idea of showing the fast ferry turn around at Amsterdam central station.

A Cultural Mashup

Wandering through Amsterdam Central Station this morning I bumped into a Bobby and a Beefeater. Both speaking Dutch and offering sweets, I know you’re not supposed to accept sweets from a stranger but I made an exception. The text on the sweets says “Drop me off in London”, and the sweets are liquorice allsorts. “Drop” is Dutch for liquorice. It’s a small joke to promote NS’s (the national train company) service to London.

Tickets are on offer for as low as 59 euros, there’s a train an hour and the trip takes about 4 1/2 hours.

If only I liked liquorice.

Open Day at Amsterdam Central Station

“Come and see how we build it” is the slogan on this banner and it refers to an open day at Amsterdam Central Station tomorrow. If you’ve been through central station recently you’ll know it’s a building site, in fact it’s been that way for years. When it’s finished the new station will be fantastic. Tomorrow, between 10am and 4pm you’re able to visit the site.

Amsterdam Central – a New Station

Amsterdam Central Station is being renovated – it seems to be taking forever, and it’s hard to imagine what the final result will be. I found this – it looks really good. Just one question; I don’t see anything about where I will be parking my bike.

The commentary is all in Dutch – here are the highlights.

  • Amsterdam Central Station was designed by Cuypers and built between 1881 and 1891 and sits on a man-made island
  • new bus station on the Ij side of the station known as Busstation Ij-zijde will have one large platform with 24 bus stops around it
  • the island is now 30 m wider, and the new glass roof of the station is 230m long and 22m high
  • there’s a new main entrance, accessible directly from the bus platform
  • traffic goes via tunnel, leaving space for shops etc
  • on the lowest level there will be access to the Noordzuidlijn (North South Line) from 2017, and connection to the Eastern metro line
  • There will be a new area for taxis on the Ij side of the station, allowing travellers to wait in shelter
  • There will be a new shopping centre with restaurants etc
  • There will be access under the station from the city to the Ij, so that people can go through without an OV chip card