The Amsterdam Metro was opened on October 14, 1977 as the youngest subway in the Benelux countries. In addition to the Amsterdam tram operated by the transport company GVB , which also operates the city bus service, as well as the train service operated by the Nederlandse Spoorwegen, it is part of the rail-based local public transport in the Dutch capital Amsterdam and its immediate vicinity.
The metro network extends over a length of 52.2 kilometers, of which only two 3.5 and 7.1 kilometers long sections run in the tunnel. The Amsterdam Metro consists of five metro lines M50, M51, M52, M53 and M54. In 2009 the Amsterdam metro carried around 107.675 million passengers; this corresponds to an average of 295,000 passengers per day.
Already in 1922 there were drafts for an underground city high-speed railway system, but the route planned at the time was too expensive at 50 million guilders .
In the period after the Second World War, the city of Amsterdam struggled with many city expansions and the resulting higher volume of traffic. There was already a well-developed tram network , but it did not come out of the prewar city limits. Finally, as was the fashion in many European cities at the time, the city government proposed replacing the tram with an underground metro network. This should connect the city center with the suburbs well. The proposed network should consist of four lines:
- a north-south line ( Noord / Zuidlijn ),
- a southwest-southeast line ( Oostlijn ),
- an east-west line ( Westlijn ),
- a tangential line ( Ringlijn ).
Although the north-south line promised the highest volume of traffic, construction work on the south-west-south-east line should begin. Because on the one hand this was the shortest planned underground section and on the other hand there was no tunneling experience in the damp subsoil. The immediately expressed negative opinions and errors in the cost estimate led to the fact that the national government decided in 1977, shortly before the opening of the first line, that the entire metro plan should be dropped and that there should be no more metro routes.
First routes from 1977
On October 14, 1977, the fully-fledged Weesperplein - Gaasperplas and Weesperplein - Holendrecht underground lines were opened. The routes form the lines 53 (also called Gaasperplaslijn ) and 54 (name Geinlijn). Three years later, the two lines reached Centraal Station (Hauptbahnhof). In 1982 line 54 was extended to Gein (hence the line name).
Tangential lines in the 1990s
Only more than 20 years later, in 1990, line 51 (also Amstelveenlijn ) was opened. It is actually an express tram ( called Sneltram ) that shares the route from Centraal Station to Spaklerweg with the underground. Then it runs on shared tracks with 50 (Ringlijn) and separates from it at Amsterdam Zuid station . Power is fed in on the Südbahnhof – Westwijk section of the line through an overhead line , while the other lines use a busbar attached to the side and coated from below . Since the Amstelveenlijn is a tram , the car bodies of the vehicles used on it are narrower, and consequently there are shelves attached to the sides to compensate for the difference in width. In 2004 there was an extension to the south to Westwijk station .
The Ringlijn (line 50), opened on June 1, 1997, runs entirely above ground, mainly on viaducts . Typically Dutch, unusual in Germany , there are extra bike racks in the cars on this line. This should actually be a ring line, but the further expansion is uncertain (status 2019?).
New downtown route Noord / Zuidlijn in the 21st century
Construction of the next line, the M52 (also Noord / Zuidlijn ), began in 2002. It was originally supposed to be finished in 2011 and cost 1.46 billion euros . During the tunnel work in 2008, problems arose with several house foundations on the Vijzelgracht, which resulted in subsidence and some even threatened to collapse. The then mayor Job Cohen ordered a complete construction freeze. Construction work could only be resumed after the damage had been repaired and re-planned. The costs had increased enormously as a result, in 2016 they were already 3.1 billion euros. The inauguration of the route could only take place on July 21, 2018.
The M52 runs from Zuid train station northwards via the main train station to Noord station. On average, around 120,000 passengers used this underground route every day in 2019.
The caisson construction required some work in a pressure vessel. As a result, it was necessary for the workers to slowly equalize the pressure in a decompression chamber after their shifts in order to avoid diving illness .
Reorganization of the Amstelveenlijn
On March 4, 2019, the previous line M51 from Westwijk to Zuid station was withdrawn and instead relocated to Isolatorweg. The mixed operation with the tram was thus given up. The reason for this was the frequent delays on the metro network, which were caused by the branch of the M51, e.g. B. in road accidents, were carried on. In addition, the branch from the metro to the tram route at the Südbahnhof will no longer be structurally possible after the A10 motorway has been expanded (Zuidas project).
In a transitional period, the Amstelveenlijn will only be served by tram lines 5 and 6 between Zuid station and Amstelveen-Stadshart. The double platforms there and the rest of the route to Westwijk will be converted to low-floor operation for 300 million euros and will be back in operation as the new Amsteltram from the end of 2020 ; an extension to Uithoorn is scheduled to go into operation in 2022.
|Opening date||Route section||Line number (
as of the end of 2019)
|Oct 14, 1977||Weesperplein - Van der Madeweg [then: Duivendrecht ]||M51, M53, M54||3.9|
|Oct 14, 1977||Van der Madeweg [Duivendrecht] - Gaasperplas||M53||5.4|
|Oct 14, 1977||Van der Madeweg [Duivendrecht] - Holendrecht||M50, M54||3.9|
|Oct 11, 1980||Centraal Station - Weesperplein||M51, M53, M54||2.1|
|4th June 1982||+ Spaklerweg||M51, M53, M54|
|Aug 27, 1982||Holendrecht - Gein||M50, M54||2.2|
|Nov 30, 1990||Spaklerweg – Overamstel – Station Zuid – Poortwachter||M50, M51||12.4|
|May 23, 1993||+ Duivendrecht||M50, M54|
|June 1, 1997||Van der Madeweg – Overamstel station Zuid – Isolatorweg||M50, M51||
|23 Sep 2004||Poortwachter – Westwijk||[M51]||2.0|
|July 22, 2018||Noord – Station Zuid
( Noord-Zuidlijn )
|2nd Mar 2019||Setting: Station Zuid - Westwijk||[M51]||−7.8|
Lines and stations
The Amsterdam metro network has 39 stations served by the M50, M51, M52, M53 and M54 lines. Since the start of use of the M5 vehicles, the lines have been designated with a leading “M”, previously they were only designated as “50”, “51” etc. The numbers M55 to M59 are kept free for previously planned future developments. There have been repeated suggestions to introduce simpler lines with lower numbers ( M1 , M2 etc.).
All lines also have color symbols that date back to the early days of the tram and are displayed on some vehicles. Line names such as Ringlijn for the M50, Amstelveenlijn for the former M51, Gaasperplaslijn for the M53 and Geinlijn for the M54 are no longer officially used, only Noord / Zuidlijn for the M52. The M53 and M54 are also sometimes referred to as Oostlijn .
The line begins in the north-west of Amsterdam at Isolatorweg station . From Sloterdijk station it runs parallel to the western Ringspoorbaan . After the Sneevlietweg station , the train turns almost at right angles to the east and runs parallel to the southern Ringspoorbaan and the ring road (A10) . After the Amstelveenseweg station , you will reach the Zuid station . As far as the Overamstel station , the M50 shares the tracks with the M51 line. The M50 line is connected to the M53 and M54 line via two individual bridges, which were awarded the Concrete Award in 1995. After Van der Madeweg , the M50 runs on the M54 line to Gein station and serves the Johan Cruyff Arena football stadium and Holendrecht station .
The line runs in Amsterdam's first underground tunnel from Centraal Station to Amstel station . From the Spaklerweg station it leads to the Zuid station and along the M50 line, i.e. the half-ring bordering Amsterdam to the south and west, via Lelylaan and Sloterdijk to Isolatorweg .
Until 2019, the M51 branched off at Südbahnhof and operated as a tram to Amstelveen . This section will be converted into an independent tram by 2020.
The M52, also called Noord / Zuidlijn , i.e. north-south line, is the only one that also serves the Amsterdam-Noord district on the other side of the IJ and thus relieves the ferries that also run here. After the Centraal Station, the M52 is also the only route that opens up the historic city center of Amsterdam with the stops Rokin , Vijzelgracht and De Pijp . After a stop at Europaplein at the RAI exhibition center , the line ends at the Südbahnhof, the Zuid station .
The line runs in Amsterdam's first underground tunnel from Centraal Station to Amstel station . After exiting the tunnel, it leads to the Van der Madeweg junction . From there, it crosses under Duivendrecht station without stopping , and then runs parallel to the embankment of the Dutch Railway to Diemen-Zuid station . From there, swiveling south, it leads to the Gaasperplas terminus and opens up residential areas in the Zuidoost district.
The line runs in Amsterdam's first underground tunnel from Centraal Station to Amstel station . After exiting the tunnel, it leads to the Van der Madeweg junction . Together with the M50 line, it will serve the Johan Cruyff Arena football stadium and the Holendrecht and Gein districts of the Amsterdam-Zuidoost district.
The Amsterdam Metro has 90 vehicles from different series:
|photo||Series (wagon numbers)||Manufacturer||Number built
(still in use)
|Trolleys per unit||length||width||Lines||Delivery period||commitment|
Series M1 / M2 / M3
M1: 1–4 (
preliminary series 1973–1976) M2: 5–37
M3: 1–4, 38–44
|LHB||44 (0)||2||37.5 m||3.0 m||M50, M53, M54||1-4: 1973; converted to M3 in 1980
Series S1 / S2
|BN||25 (25)||2||30.6 m||2.65 m||M50, M51||45-57: 1990
58 + 59: 1993
|CAF||33 (33)||2||30.9 m||2.7 m||M50, M51, M53, M54||1996
|CAF||4 (4)||2||30.9 m||2.7 m||M50, M51||70-73: 1997||since 1997|
Series M5 / M6
M5: 107/108 - 151/152
M6: 153/154 - 161/162
|Alstom||28 (28)||6th||116.2 m||3.0 m||M50, M51, M52, M53, M54||107/108 + 109/110: 2012
111 / 112–115 / 116,
119/120 + 121/122 : 2013 117/118, 123 / 124–141 / 142: 2014
143 / 144–161 / 162: 2015
|M7 series||CAF||-||3||59.6 m||3.005 m||from 2021|
Series M1 to M3
The series M1, M2 and M3 with the car numbers 1–44 are three part series (1–4, 5–37 and 38–44) that the German manufacturer Linke-Hofmann-Busch (LHB) had built in Salzgitter between 1973 and 1980 . The units consist of two cars ( double railcars ) in Inox steel construction according to a license from the American Budd Company . In terms of construction and appearance, they are very similar to the DT2 / DT3 type built by LHB for the Hamburger Hochbahn or the LHB VT 2E diesel multiple unit , but they are longer and wider. The two car bodies are each 18.36 meters long and 3 meters wide. The trains are supplied with power by a busbar on the side , and they also have a small roof pantograph for the workshop . A maximum of four units can be coupled together. There, however, a maximum of three units can drive coupled. The units 1-4 from 1973 were originally the prototypes for the Amsterdam Metro and should be scrapped after the opening of the east line. In 1980 it was decided to keep these and to procure similar vehicles. The originally orange-red exterior sliding doors were later painted blue. Since 2012 the trains of the series M1 to M3 have been continuously replaced by the new train type M5. On December 19, 2015, the series was decommissioned with an official farewell trip. The same car (No. 23) was used for this, with which the opening run was made at the time. Most recently, the trains of this type were in service on the M53 and M54 lines and some on the M50 line.
Series S1 and S2
The series S1 and S2 with the wagon numbers 45-69 were built in two parts (45-57 and 58-69) by La Brugeoise et Nivelles (BN) in Brugge (Belgium) and delivered between 1990 and 1994. This rail - bidirectional carriage have a length of about 30 meters and a width of 2.65 meters; they are used on the M51 light rail line. At the Zuid / WTC station you can switch between the two power systems overhead contact line and track. Since the trains are only 2.65 meters wide, additional boards are unfolded in the "real" underground stations, which fill the 17.5 centimeter gap. A maximum of two units can be coupled with one another, as the platforms at the Buitenveldert and Amstelveen stations are only 65 meters long. Technically, up to four units can drive together. On special occasions in the Amsterdam Arena , the special trains also run on the M54 line. Each car has a bicycle stand that can accommodate two wheels. In 2004/2005, the original gray-blue-red color scheme was changed to match the corporate design of the Amsterdam Gemeente Vervoer Bedrijf (GVB) to the colors blue and white, which is also used by trams and buses in Amsterdam.
Since the tram service on the M51 line was given up, they have also been used on the M50 line.
M4 / S3 series
The M4 / S3 series with car numbers 70-106 was built by the CAF in Madrid (Spain) and delivered in 1996/1997. The vehicles have a length of 30.8 meters and a width of 2.65 meters. The power consumption takes place through a lateral power rail. The railcars 70–73, which make up the sub-series S3, have a larger pantograph for use on the former M51 line, the railcars of the sub-series M4 only need a smaller pantograph for shunting trips. A maximum of four units can be coupled.
What is particularly striking about this type of car is the small number of doors: only two on each side instead of the usual three. In order to create more standing room, it was decided to install folding seats on one side instead of a double row of seats. This series has also been adapted to the GVB corporate design; all trains have now been repainted.
The M5 series replaces the M1 to M3 series, which had been in use for up to 40 years at the time of their decommissioning. In addition, they should also do their service on the M51 line and on the new north-south line (line M52). In November 2005, GVB announced the most important features in the basic concept for the new type of train. The trains are to have a car body width of 3 meters, as is the case with the types M1-M3. You should have four doors on each side. This is one more door than the type M1 to M3 cars and twice the number of doors of the types M4 / S3. Most of the trains are to be equipped with longitudinal benches, with individual transverse benches at each end of the train to complete the car. The trains will also be adapted to the needs of wheelchair users , but there will be no bicycle parking facilities as in the trains in the S1 / S2 or M4 / S3 series. The trains should also be completely continuous, which improves the subjective feeling of security of the passengers as well as the better distribution of the passengers.
As with the series M1 to M3, the train control should be in the middle of the driver's cab. In addition, the cabin should be equipped with air conditioning and have the option of semi-automatic train operation. The cars are also to be equipped for both power systems, i.e. power consumption via both overhead contact lines and power rails. The trains were first presented to the press in September 2012 and tested in test drives. The trains were built by Alstom and called "Metropolis". In April 2013, five more trains were ordered from Alstom, valued at 42 million euros. 23 trains had previously been delivered.
In November 2018, a contract was signed with CAF for the delivery of 30 three-part metro trains. Commissioning is planned for mid-2021, the new type M7 locomotives will replace types S2 and S3 / M4 from 2024 and 2027, respectively. Each aluminum multiple unit will be 59.6 m long and 3,005 mm wide and will consist of two railcars and an intermediate car. Each three-part multiple unit will be able to carry 480 passengers with 4 people per m², 78 of them mostly on lengthways seats, and two seats for passengers with restricted mobility. The trains will be equipped with GoA 2 for semi-automatic operation, with GoA 4 being planned to run unattended in the future when the driver's cabs are removed. There is an option for another 30 trains.
- Official operator website of GVB (Dutch / English)
- The Amsterdam Metro at Urbanrail.net (English)
- Page on Amsterdam Metro and Tram (Dutch / English)
- Feiten en cijfers. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on December 28, 2011 ; Retrieved May 4, 2010 (Dutch). Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Major setback for Amsterdam subway project . International Business Times, September 11, 2008.
- Noord / Zuidlijn, FAQ ( Memento of the original from March 16, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (English), Gemeente Amsterdam, Noord / Zuidlijn.
- Dutch devise subway for Amsterdam . USA Today, July 22, 2007.
- Amstelveenlijn. Retrieved August 31, 2019 (Dutch).
- Quintus Vosman: Dutch start reconstruction of Amstelveen LRT. In: International Rail Journal. March 5, 2019, accessed September 3, 2019 .
- Formerly planned Sneltramnetz ( memento of the original from April 22, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- De Zilvermeeuw (1973-2015) Einde van ondergronds koekblik (ndl.) ; Het Parool online; accessed on December 22, 2015.
- Nieuwe Amsterdamse metro M5 maakt testrit ( Memento of the original from October 19, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Treinreiziger.nl from September 13, 2012
- More metros for Amsterdam . In: Eisenbahn-Revue International . No. 4 , 2013, p. 191 .
- Metro Report International, November 29, 2018: Amsterdam metro train contract signed
- GVB, April 30, 2018: CAF fabrikant nieuwe M7 metro's voor Amsterdam